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Snakes and Ladders: CAL 3-2007

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Snakes and Ladders


Calligrapher: Brown, Denis



Artist's statement: Text is from Leviticus 15. This piece is satire on catholic values of puritanism, playing on the imaginary of the children's board game where ladders carry you onward and upwards but you slip downwards if you land on a snake. Here, I replace the snakes of the board-game with calligraphic sperm cells, which are actually flourished on to the picture glass. The black sperm are depicted with forked tongues and the inclusion of little ladders made of balsa wood completes the reference to the children's game .. A playful work, but with sinister undertones, for it alludes to the numerous sex and paedophile scandals exposed within church hierarchies.

Measurements and weight

Height: 300 mm
Width: 216 mm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given by Cavendish, Sue


Production date: AD 1998

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of paper ( painted; tracing with collaged elements)

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CAL 3-2007
Primary reference Number: 167354
Old object number: Calligraphy/Brown/1
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Snakes and Ladders" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-03 01:32:23

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{{cite web|url= |title=Snakes and Ladders |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-03 01:32:23|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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