Apollo: ‘An elegy to a disappearing planet’

Apollo: ‘An elegy to a disappearing planet’, review of Requiem at Ingleby Gallery

Cradled in my palm is a round, glass vial containing about a tablespoon of crushed bryozoans – tiny, primitive ocean-dwellers, whose species has lived on earth for about half a billion years. Since the start of the Devonian Period, the specimens I am holding have remained in much the same shape – forged together in a colony, not unlike a coral reef, on a stratum of rock in southwestern Ukraine – gradually becoming fossils. Until a relative blink-of-the-eye ago, that is, when they were collected, crushed into a fine dust, poured into this vial, and at last picked up by me. I attempt, vainly, to muster a couple of words equal to the occasion of the strange ceremony that is about to occur; then I walk over to the middle of the room and tip the bryozoa dust into a large glass urn, where it lands with a bathetic little puff, to mingle with the dust of other aeons.