Thursday, 30 December 2010


To Every Seed His Own Body © Polly Morgan
After the over indulgence of Christmas I'm sure this is how the majority of us are feeling! Our turkey has long shuffled off this mortal coil and has been reduced to soup and sandwiches but it could have so much more beautiful and different if it had fallen into the hands of Polly Morgan.

Polly Morgan is a British born artist who uses the medium of taxidermy to put across her interpretation of life, death and beauty. She is a fully qualified taxidermist but isn't interested in recreating animals in realistic life like poses or habitats, instead she has a more poetic approach sitting somewhere between the Victorian love of taxidermy that saw large dioramas of human events rendered with animals, (the most recognisable being 'The Kitten's Wedding') and the Romantic paintings of Joseph Wright.
Bird in an Air Pump, Joseph Wright of Derby

Kitten's Wedding 1898, Walter Potter
The first time I saw Polly Morgan's work I was struck by it's directness and strength, it immediately recalled my own growing up in the country and the everydayness of  death.

One piece entitled "Still Birth" transported me directly to an episode where my little sister accidentally killed my pet duckling. She was only about 2 or 3 years old at the time and decided to pick it up and pet it, unfortunately she held it by the neck while petting it, and didn't notice it dying then simply placed it back in the nest. It was there that I found it later that evening when I went to feed it. It lay there with it's neck limp, it's beak slightly open and it's head lying on a bump of straw.

Still Birth, 2010 © Polly Morgan
It's strange to have a piece of art talk to you that directly to the point where I can smell the warm dusty straw and feel the 'dead weight' of the duckling in my hand. If you're intrigued by Polly Morgan's work then click here to access her site. Also as a foot note all the animals used in her work died of natural causes.
© Polly Morgan
Pyric Victors, 2009 ©Polly Morgan

Black Fever and Blue Fever, 2010 © Polly Morgan

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