Polly Morgan

Polly Morgan is another artist who works with taxidermy. She is one of my favourites and it was her Life After Death birds that first got my attention. My favourite pieces are the ones where she hasn't tried to make the animal look alive but instead she has left it in its death pose. I love the preservation of the moment of death almost as if you watch long enough you might see a tiny breath.

Her newest work explores the idea of the psychopomp; a mythological winged escort which carries the soul from the land of the living to afterworld. Because birds have the ability to fly they have often been associated with heaven. In many Eastern European cultures, a person's death is described as when his/her soul bird has flown away.

Interesting story about  the chick in the matchbox....It was owned by Courtenay Love. Unfortunately the movers chucked the $8000 work of art in the trash not recognizing it as art....oops. You can read a pretty hysterical note about that little mishap here.



John Morton

Our relationship to animals fascinates me. My work explores issues such as recognition of identity, animals as food or product, anthropomorphism, and attraction/repulsion. Although animals are my subject matter, I feel my work speaks more about people.

John Morton is an American artist who works primarily in clay and makes incredible casts from the molds of carcasses skinned from the remains of animals killed and skinned for their fur.  These are images from his MFA which he completed in 2010 at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. I can't wait to see the direction his work will take in the future.

His work appeals to me because it has a rawness that reflects the harsh reality of the aftermath of trapping and taxidermy. This body once removed of it's skin or commodity is then chucked into the trash. Morton's pieces utilized the byproducts of trapping, hunting and taxidermy as a way to point up, as per the show's title, the unabashed reality of mortality and the consequences of these actions writes Jamie Smith.  Apparently his show, titled "Unbecoming", hit a few nerves. That interests me even more since the show was in Alaska, a place synonymous with hunting and trapping culture. Perhaps the disconcerted never consider what happens to the bodies of animals or how they might appear without their precious fur....

Broken Foot

Female Lynx



Lucky (detail)


Soft Spot