Taxidermy Portfolio

Thank you to Tony Puis for making this film

None of the animals or birds I use are killed to make art – they are found and given an opportunity to continue on in a new form.

I make shrines to the animals I find. I like things to be intriguing, to generate wonder and stimulate curiosity. I like symbolism to give life to narrative. I give a nod to the plight of creatures we may exploit, take for granted or may be in danger.

Stories, ritual and ancient folklore relating to birds are still prevalent, like the ownership of swans by the Royals, stories of pigeons helping to win wars by delivering notes over hundreds of miles across enemy lines, tales of storks delivering babies and more.

Birds fascinate me. Defying gravity, they are the most perfectly designed flying machines. They can travel thousands of miles using navigating skills we can only marvel at.

Fragile and resourceful, they adapt to our ever-increasing invasion of the planet. From birds that are considered vermin, such as pigeons, to suppliers of the nation’s food such as eggs, chicken meat and ostrich steaks, to bedding and clothes filled with feathers to beautiful plumes in fashion, birds are persecuted and kept as prisoners in cages all over the world.

They are turned into clowns for entertainment: Rod Hull and Emu, Tweety Pie and Road Runner. Then made into symbols of rebirth such as the phoenix or demonised by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, they are caged, plucked and eaten.

Birds are one of the most declining species on the planet with huge numbers reaching extinction daily.

I visualize the birds and animals I use in a place lost between life and death. I don’t want people to look at them and think they are alive or represent a realistic still-life scene. I want to provoke questions with this work, curiosity about lives and deaths and to face our responsibilities to other species.

Click on the titles below for more details of each piece

Mothers Ruins

13 roast dinners create a shrine to the mother never seen by this little cockerel.

Hippocratic Rabbit

One ornamental rabbit, a bible, some broken hearts and a big wasp.

A strange looking rabbit asks us to consider what is kindness

Big Yellow Taxi

A weird kind of acorn

Squirrel in its natural habitat

Park Life

London Pride, Boys Own & N.O.S

This squirrel knows what a good night out is made of.

Ignorance is Bliss

A bakers half dozen of fluffy chicks at bedtime

Sleeping Beauty

“She looked asleep, so peaceful and perfect”

Miniature bed, comfortable but cruel.

Peacefully sleeping after a tussle with a car.

Boxed Fulmar

small skull in little boxes can spread big messages

Remains that speak volumes on the state of the world.

The Winnowed Prince

Crowned and not forgotten

Not a trophy, though would look quite at home on a wall in a country house.