Artist David Normal’s Crossroads of Curiosity is a suite of murals that extends the notion of a “cabinet of curiosity” outward from the rectilinear arrangement of objects in glass cases to encompass the world in a series of dramatic tableaux featuring provocative juxtapositions of vastly different times, places, and peoples.
Originally created for Burning Man 2014, Normal used Victorian Era book illustrations exclusively from the digitised collection of the British Library to create the artwork. Beginning as black and white collages, the four pieces were developed into 8’ x 20’ lightbox murals that were arrayed around the base of the Burning Man effigy to support the 2014 festival’s theme, “Caravansary”.
In 2015 the Crossroads of Curiosity was presented as an installation at the British Library in London. The murals were installed in a close array that formed an immersive space within the "Poet's Circle", an open air rotunda in the Piazza of the British Library. The murals were on display for five months and provided an interesting social space for visitors to the British Library, and glowing through the night they were seen by countless passengers going by in London's double-decker buses. A gala opening was held on June 20th that featured talks by David Normal and Burning Man founder, Larry Harvey (who came to London for the opening) as well as a ceremonial procession and live music. During the course of the exhibition, David Normal often gave talks on the subject matter of the murals, what he called, "Lunch Time Travel Tours", since they were often presented to people taking their lunch break in the Piazza.
Watch an interview with David Normal about the creation of Crossroads of Curiosity.