Hoxton Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition explores what it means to be mortal

The [overrun] armadillo picked up in Texas by Ohio-based artist Shane Mecklenburger couldn’t have in its wildest dreams imagined that it would one day be cremated, and transformed into a shining piece of art. Transformed into a diamond from its ashes, Mecklenburger’s Texas armadillo will soon be on display at the Hoxton Art Gallery in Shoreditch, as part of their Memento Mori exhibition.

The Latin expression memento mori, translates roughly to ‘remember your mortality’, and is the exhibition’s namesake and central theme. Dating back to times of antiquity, the phrase has been used when referencing works of art featuring motifs such as skulls, skeletons, and other symbols of death. Interestingly, churches in medieval Europe used this macabre genre of art to remind individuals of their own mortality, and consequently the judgement awaiting them after death.

However, in contrast to simply featuring art with the aforementioned motifs, Hoxton Art Gallery has interpreted the theme of mortality in a more abstract sense. For example, in the exhibition one can expect to find scenes of a tsunami on a television scene, and the ashes of a loved one, which serve as material for reflection on what it means to be mortal in today’s society.

The Memento Mori exhibition will feature the work of five new talented contemporary artists – Nadine Feinson, Beatrice Haines, David Jones, Shane Mecklenburger, and Kentaro Yamada – who will each present new ways of reflecting on our existence. Additionally, the exhibition will also feature large-scale collages, paintings, television scenes (as described), and ‘gigantic hand-drawn orbits of ashes’.


Hoxton Art Gallery is situated on Charlotte Road in Shoreditch. The gallery is run by Director Matthew Nickerson, Lydia Cowpertwait, Head of Gallery, and Fiona Neil, Head of Projects. Together they are fostering on-going relationships with new contemporaries.

For more information contact Lydia Cowpertwait on +44 (0) 207 739 6852 or lcowpertwait@hoxtonartgallery.co.uk