Taxidermy is everywhere at the moment. I was impressed by the "Dead or Alive" exhibition at the New York Museum of Art and Design, in which artists show how death can appear beautiful, and that there can be death without decay. Works included an entire wall made of rooster tail feathers which was irresistible to touch, drawings of skulls made from tiny pieces of cut up insect parts, and a stuffed pigeon hanging out of the mouth of a skull covered in beetle shells. One of my favourite pieces was the display of two rough uncut diamonds, each surrounded by a pile of blue or green feathers. These had once been a pair of budgerigars, Bubi and Hansi, who had been transformed into the stones and preserved in this way.
Mad Cow Motorcycle by Billie Grace Lynn
Kate MccGuire makes pigeon feathers look like brush strokes
Iris Schieferstein's Hoof Boots
My Pamela Love necklace cast from a human tooth and my Frank and Easy crab ring
This trend in the art world has also found its way into fashion. The extravagance of thick furs and luscious feathers have always appealed to me, but recently the odd craze of replicating the anatomies of animals, and in some cases incorporating stuffed body parts, has really seeped into trends. Reid Peppard not long ago created a bizarre but effective series of taxidermy jewelry including a stuffed mouse head bow tie and a stuffed rat headband. Pamela Love is famous for her jewelry based on human and animal teeth and claws.
There was even talk of a brooch made of a live cockroach encrusted with swarovski crystals and pinned down with a small silver leash so that it could walk around your garment. CW