Danielle Van ark: The Mounted Life

The Mounted Life is a single body of work by Dutch photographer, Danielle Van Ark. Compromised of a collection of  photographs which depict the backrooms of taxidermy shops and natural history museums. The effect of the images is quite disturbing: the motionless animals are completely removed from any illusion of a natural environment and suddenly appear more like actual objects than the live specimens they are intended to represent. It is a haunting commentary on our "relationship" with animals. She has a blog where she records her ideas and work in progress and talks about her life and influences:
Click on the image to the right to visit her website.



Masako Miki

Such beautiful and delicate drawings are made by artist Masako Miki. As you all know I have a soft spot for animals and science and excellent craftsmanship and Masako's intricate pieces are like wonderful bits of candy for my eyes.  I love the effect of vellum layered over a pattern/s as it adds depth and suggestion of a veil, that what we immediately see is partially obscured by the skin of the animal. Awesomeness.



Germaine Arnaktauyok

I was in Banff the first time I ever laid eyes on an original Germaine Arnaktauyok print. There is just something about an etching that I find absolutely irresistible. Dark colours emerge like velvet and suck you in and the tiniest line and finest gradient are all inked lovingly by hand. Yes I mean lovingly because to create an edition of 75 hand inked, hand pulled prints you have to love being a print maker and more specifically you have to love etching.
Germaine Arnaktauyok's work has always influenced me. I am drawn to her work in particular not only because it is beautifully crafted and technically perfect but because of her content. I can not think of any other artist off the top of my head that depicts such a close relationship between animals and humans. I love that there is a kinship between the species that you rarely find in other work that explores the human/animal relationship. Much of her inspiration comes from the oral history of the aboriginal people of Nunavut from a time when magic was still alive and the culture was untainted by missionaries.

Even her drawings look a lot like etchings as you can see below. Her self developed technique dubbed “squiggles,” involves layers of thousands of fine, coiled lines the resulting texture which sometimes makes a drawing look similar to an etching.

“I never questioned being an artist. I guess I was lucky. It seemed I knew exactly what I wanted to be, and then I just worked at it”


Adrian Van Allen


Adrian Van Allen is a brilliant artist and scientist who draws inspiration for her art practice from the history of science, taxonomy, biology, medicine and evolving technologies. Much of her work is interactive engaging the viewer with digital media or including them as participants in an installation. Her work is intelligent, thought provoking and playful and like many of my favourite artists, blur the line between artist studio and scientific laboratory. I absolutely LOVE the anatomy monoprints on maps (see bottom images) that she made from a colour laser printer.... I might just have to email her and ask if she is willing to share her secret!

Her website is incredible and has a ton of projects both artistic and professional – a little something for the artist and scientist! Many of her projects are video based so I could not post them here for you so click on the top image to go to her site where you can spend a little time snooping around andpossible learn something. Now GO!

from improbable loves 1
from improbable loves 1

the colonists
natura historia

from natura historia

from natura historia


Charley Harper

Charley Harper is an artist that was introduced to me by my mom. She has been an admirer of his for a long time and when she bought his retrospective a few years ago I was inspired by his simple graphic style and of course, his love of animals. 

His work is mostly silkscreen or lithograph and many works have been reproduced as off-set productions of posters, cards, and calendars.  You can find his geometric designs in many bookstores and gift shops and once you see his work it is easy to recognize. Even though his wildlife is represented flattened with hard edges he still manages to capture the essence and personality of the creatures and their habitat. Enjoy!