Death isn’t always the end.
The idea for Desecration came from a visit to the Hunterian Museum in London, where anatomical specimens line the walls. It made me wonder about how the physical body defines us in life … and in death.
Jamie Brooke is a British police detective who struggles against the rules and yet remains passionate about bringing justice to the dead. Jamie’s escape into tango comes from my own obsession with this ‘vertical expression of a horizontal desire.’
The anatomical Venus figures, like the one found at the crime scene, were popular teaching devices as well as pieces of art.
Teratology is the study of ‘monsters,’ abnormalities in physiological development, often caused by genetic or environmental factors. The Victorian ‘freak shows’ were made up of people born misshapen and the medical museums are full of their remains. But what if they were created deliberately?
The Bodies exhibition in New York gave me the idea for Rowan Day-Conti and his macabre corpse art sculptures. Researching that alternative world led me to body modification and the Torture Garden nightclub. It’s fascinating to see how people use the body as a canvas to define themselves.
This tattoo was the inspiration for the exotic dancer, ‘O.’ Seen at the National Gallery, London, Seduced by Art Photography exhibition.
Richard Learoyd's Man with Octopus Tattoo II, 2011
A visit to the Hellfire Caves of West Wycombe, rife with rumours of Satanic ritual and sexual depravity, inspired some of the climactic scenes.
Desecration is available in ebook, print and audiobook formats. More images at pinterest.com/jfpenn/desecration/
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