NAME: Annick - AldoWorkshop
OCCUPATION: Graphic Designer - Artist
TOTAL NUMBER OF TAXIDERMY PIECES: 23 and growing
1. What was your very first piece of taxidermy?
A Rook (Corvus frugilegus) bough at a flea market in the 80's.
2. Where do you find pieces for your collection?
Mostly I hunt at flea markets and junk shops. Presents from friends.
3. Where do you display your taxidermy?
In the living room of my tiny apartment.
4. How or when did you become interested in taxidermy?
When I was a child I would collect bones, skulls, feathers, dead birds found in nature. I would bury dead birds in dry sand and leave them in the sun to become naturally dried out and mummified.
5. What do you think taxidermy is? Art? Souvenir? Kitsch? Nature?
Depends on the motive. The taxidermist main concern is about capturing life, to be accurate in representation and not about freedom of expression, therefor I believe taxidermy would be best defined as a craft. Thinking of the many great skills involved to make a mount look life-like and to give it character makes me personally approach taxidermy as the ART of taxidermy. The world of Walter Potter is easily labeled as kitsch but is of such a curious bizarre nature and a reflection of the Victorian era that I consider his work to be Art.
6. Do any pieces have names?
Not really, I just call them: the fox, the rook, the chicken thief, …
7. Have you ever prepared a taxidermy mount?
8. Do you worry about displaying so much death... that is, do you ever get negative reactions to your collection?
I don't see taxidermy as "death" nor either as life. It's a hyper realistic sculpture, which can unsettle the viewer's perception. The use of animal skin contributes to the notion of authenticity and allows one to be deceived into believing it was a once living animal. I am well aware that taxidermy has become a controversial subject. Perhaps people with out spoken opinions against taxidermy don't like to be confronted with the fact that animals are killed … for food, clothing, shoes, leather sofas, carpets, pest control management, by traffic, etc … and therefor find taxidermy displays offensive.
9. Why do you think taxidermy is back in fashion?
There is popularity in the use of taxidermy in Contemporary Art that takes a critical look at the ART of taxidermy with conceptual art projects that questions the human uses and abuses of animals. As taxidermy becomes rare and less in demand due to our changing awareness of nature and wild life, control on wild life trade, wild life protection, taxidermy legislation, etc the value of antique taxidermy increases and a different kind of collector surfaces. Today we value things differently and I doubt that we can speak of a "fashion" like taxidermy was fashionable in the 19th century.
10. If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would you be and why?
A bird of prey.
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