On 3rd October, a team of archaeologists from Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities prised open a sealed sarcophagus to the delight of a gathering crowd. The slumbering mummy had been resting peacefully for some 2,600 years alongside 59 other sarcophagi. All were pulled out of the dark in the Saqqara necropolis, an ancient graveyard south of Cairo.

These mummies are thought to be priests, government officials, and individuals from the upper echelons of Egyptian society. It’s a sight we’re so used to that we don’t even question it. But what does this unearthing millennia later mean for the bodies…


There’s a quote I read and loved but can’t recall where it came from. It reads: “Intellectually I understand it. But I can’t seem to make peace with it.” A lot of this year has felt like that for me. I like to solve things. Fix them. Cross them out. But life doesn’t work like that. And answers don’t come in neatly defined boxes, if they even come at all.

Like most people in these unpredictable circumstances, in the absence of control I find myself turning to the stars, the gods and other portends for comfort. I’m always throwing questions…


I remember when used to watch films as a kid I’d always get so frustrated when there was some disagreement or clear misunderstanding that remained unresolved and unspoken. Or worse still, instead of allowing themselves to be vulnerable and say how they really felt, the protagonists would refuse. They’d close up. They’s get mean.

As an adult I can appreciate miscommunication’s power as a plot device, but for younger me, I just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t be honest. What was so evident to the audience is denied until the final act. It’s all missed opportunities and insinuation right up…


Find more of my work over at: https://www.instagram.com/laurenellis_art/

These days feel like one long lesson in realising how complicated things always are. Maybe I’m just getting older, but I sometimes miss the polarity of my teenage years and how absolute and final it all felt. It was black and white even when it felt unbearable. It’s not a time I’d return to, but the battle lines were clear.

Now in me I feel the continual argument of the romantic and what is either my cynicism or my better judgement. …


Find more of my work over at: https://www.instagram.com/laurenellis_art/

As a species we are entranced with stories about near-misses. We love nothing more than hearing about someone who narrowly skirted past disaster. When their subtle, nothing choices or a chance encounter rips them from the jaws of calamity. They miss the boat that later hits an iceberg. Or the plane takes off without them, only for all aboard to perish.

In my own inconsequential brush up with the Grim Reaper, I was sixteen and walking down Devils’ Tower Road in Gibraltar and I slowed my pace to untangle my headphones. I was suddenly startled by the roar of an…


We make our way across the feria. Pushing through the pools of people collecting at the edges of the fairground attractions, I feel excited and impatient for what’s to come. Everything is loud and lovely. A cacophony of sound and smells descend, and this usually designated carpark is transformed into an illuminous mass I suspect you may be able to see from space. Raffle tickets crinkle under foot as the tombola blares out his wares and treasures and urges you to step right up.

I love the feria. I have been coming here since I was a child. It is…


Consciousness. That unanswerable conundrum that taps incessantly on the inside of our skulls. Scientists, spiritual leaders and philosophers have been grappling over this metaphysical mystery since we, well… developed enough self-awareness to argue over the nature of it. And it isn’t just we Homo Sapiens who have long been preoccupied with life, death and our place in the universe. Archaeologists have found ritualistic Neanderthal burials and the first flower ever laid on a grave in remembrance was put there by those same cousins we like to call stupid.

So, what does constitute a consciousness? It is a sum of synapses…


TW: suicide

It is a thing of beauty to be of service. To show up when someone is at their most vulnerable. You approach a stranger lying in the middle of the pavement surrounded by their own vomit. You begin by making jokes. You ask them how the view is from down there. They stare straight back.

“What are you doing on the floor then?” Still a jovial hint lingering on your tongue.

Eyes behind glasses respond calmly with a matter-of-fact calamity: “My mum killed herself.”

You begin to talk more seriously now. They become someone you soothe and tell…


I find myself standing in front of Stephansdom, Vienna’s crowning cathedral. I am eagerly waiting for the clock to strike half one so I can make the slow descent into the catacombs.

Stephansdom doesn’t feel like a normal cathedral. Neither a celebration of god or of life, it feels more like a grim promise. A dutiful reminder. Skulls and slices of Memento Mori are scattered across its surface. A skull lingers above the clock. I read somewhere that this cathedral is under constant construction. They also say the devil once appeared within in. …


Life and Death, Gustav Klimt

Could artificial intelligence ever be an artist? Could a computer act as a curator?

These are questions that have been bubbling in my mind for months now. But the more I dissect, the more emerge — because, what is art? Who is an artist? When and are we able to classify ourselves as one? And who decides what work is worthy of entering the notoriously old and mostly white canon?

AI’s tendrils are slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives. While most of us are okay with it claiming factory jobs and menial roles, there is something about art…

Lauren Ellis

Writer, artist and occasional poet. Lover of philosophy, folklore, history + curiosities. UX writer by day. Writing a book about death by night.

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