Don’t Shoot the Messenger
I do not want to hide behind any veil implying that what I do 'should' be perceived as ethical.
Although I always endeavor to source and use animals that are collected in what I deem to be the correct way, this use is intended to highlight an often historic, but also at times current, discourse to the viewer.
Whilst I am aware that the mere sight of taxidermy in art might be enough to cause negative reaction in some viewers, these works are never intended to be seen as classical representation of 'nature as decoration' – or evocation of 'man’s triumph over nature'.
My use of taxidermy as part of a mixed media work searches for reaction, and hopefully becomes a vehicle for political discussion. From the introduction of the Acclimatization Societies to New Zealand, my earlier works critiqued the effect of the introduced species on the natural world. This ethos of ‘improving on nature’ ran parallel with the colonisation of this country – and to what I call 'old world thinking'.
This has been a further stepping stone within my art practice, thus highlighting our continued disconnection with the natural world and ourselves.
"It is not the object that defines us - it merely implicates us" - Sean Crawford.