This body of work is concerned with the relationship between humans and animals. The pieces contain images of animals and sometimes humans to represent the notions of the trophy, domination and animal identity. I am interested in the moment when the once living animal becomes an object of collection, display, memory and pride and how this relates to the fact that we, as humans, are just other animals in the world.
In Kenneth Clark’s book Animals and Men, it is mentioned that although hunting used to be done as a necessity for food, now it has become a “ritualized display of surplus energy and courage” and the act “has always been closely identified with social status”. Clark mentions that in comparison to animal sacrifice in the cases of religious practices, “hunting is a different matter. It seems to satisfy some ingrained human instinct”.
We show off the triumph of the kill through taxidermy and display, similar to the way a cat will bring a captured bird home to show their human owner. It’s neither celebration nor critique, but a simple observation.