Monday, 13 February 2012

Taxidermy meets accessories!

Facebook is usually seen as a social interactive site, but sometimes someone posts an absolute gem! So as I was rummaging through the facebook wall one day, I noticed a friend had posted a picture of a Seagull stuffed with pearls. No reference to who it was by, so I had to do some investigating...

The artist, Jane Howarth, created this collection entitled 'Bonne Bouche' from vintage 1930s taxidermied sea birds.

…glamorous ladies discard their fashions and adornments and head for the seduction of the shimmering surf and shingle. Upon their distraction scavenger gulls descend and feast on the picnic of kid leather gloves, pearl necklaces and other delightful items left abandoned on the sand. (Jane Howarth)

I have read a few articles and opinions based around this work, along with the artists statement itself, personally I think the piece should stand for itself. I'll give you a moment to make your own opinion before I continue...
So according to the artist, the work is about: 
"how pollution from chemical, radioactive, and nutrient sources, oil spills and marine debris are killing thousands of sea birds. [...] The stomachs of the birds on display are full with what one might see as beautiful objects such as pearls and leather gloves, these are also things that humans have taken from nature to enrich their lives but discard at a whim when (perhaps) fashion dictates. Thus trying to make comment on the effect our lifestyle of lustful consumerism has on the world that sustains us."
I dont think its an awful statement to make, I agree on some points regarding consumerism, but feel the piece holds well on its own, the mystery and form of the objects are far more powerful than the concept created to justify it.

Which brings me to my next find! 

I have to admit that despite the morbid nature of these necklaces, I think they are fantastic!
The combination of beads merging with the remains of the bird carcass' somehow removes any negative association with death, transformed and given new life.

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