Dienstag, 10. Februar 2015

Respect and Ethics - Art with Taxidermy

Amazing work from "Forgotten Boneyard".
Since the primeval times humans used parts of animals for crafting tools or weapons. The hide of some animals was used as clothing. And today, we still need animal parts for some daily things like shoes. But what's about art? In this entry I want to show you some taxidermy art I've done. I also want to show you the art of others and I want to write about respect and ethics. Please read more under the cut.

Actually I'm very open-minded when it comes to art with animal parts. For me it's important that the animal didn't have to suffer even for the sake of art and that it was no endangered species in the first place. Maybe I'm a bit too pragmatic, but if an animal or a human dies the spirit (or soul) is gone. The dead body is just an empty hull by then and nothing else - free to use. I don't blame people who wear human teeth ear rings or display a human skull in a show window of a shop.
But there are some limits for me, too. I would never want a skull of my relatives or house pets in my collection. Because there are feelings attached and with these feelings comes respect or/and sadness. So, Mom, you would never end up in my cabinet ;)

But to craft with animal parts doesn't mean that I don't have respect of nature or the animal itself. I just don't have any personal feelings for it. It's hard to put in words properly and I hope you don't understand me wrong. To put an animal skull into a show cabinet is one thing, but to wear it on a necklace is another. I'm always aware that these parts were a living animal once. But seriously, who thinks about the poor cow when you sit on a leather couch or wear a jewel on a leather string? I guess nobody. So I think it's often pure hypocrisy when someone yells bad words about art with taxidermy.
But for now enough of that.
There are a lot of jewellery made of bones and animal teeth out there in the internet. For example there's a little but awesome etsy shop of "Forest Fern Creations". I like her stuff because she treats the animal parts with respect and loves nature like I do. And she is full of awesome ideas!

That's just one of the amazing works of "Forest Fern Creations".
I also did some jewellery by my own! That's my favourite self-made necklace, but I rarely wear it. It's made of fox teeth which I found in the woods. There are also real silver beads and gem stones - very precious. And there are a lot of memories attached to that necklace, that's why I love it so much.

Here another little trinket. Actually it's just a colored chicken bone (I think it's chicken). But it looks nice.

I also used some animal parts for crafting dream catchers. I'm not much into native history of America, but I think dream catchers are very beautiful. Each time when I work with animal parts (even when I'm cleaning them before display) I think about the animal itself. How did it live and die? How was its life anyway? Some bones tells me stories, but that's just a split second.

Once I was in the museum in Bern. There was a special exhibit about stuffed animals and art. Well, they showed some funny ideas, but I think it doesn't show a lot of respect to the animal itself. Sometimes that makes me sad and angry. But I had to laugh anyway.


As you see on the head image, there are also people who sculpt with bones. That's very interesting and  I like it a lot. But bad taxidermy makes me angry, because it's a shame to deform an animal. Even if it's your first stuffed animal, sometimes some people should leave taxidermy to the pros. Sorry.

Why, my God, why??!!??!!
Even the first humans created art made of bones, horns or shells. Things which weren't necessary for to survive. It seems to be our nature to be creative with our natural environment. But is it necessary to make a hovering helicopter made of a death house cat? Do we need endangered sharks in decorative glass tanks filled with chemicals? Or what's about people who sell human bones like fresh veggies?
It's up to you to make up your own opinion about it. I just wrote about mine and I hope you respect it like I do yours. People think different and our own opinion isn't the only one out there. Always think about your leather shoes or other "natural" products first before you start to yell... ;)

PS: I call myself a naturalist and conservationist. Even with my (sometimes) strange opinions and likings. Peace!

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