Dead Clever

So, I was walking through Marlyebone Village the other day when I walked past one of the new style “curiosity shops” that seem to be opening up around the place (its name escapes me now – but I’ll add later) – something that I wholeheartedly support! I spotted another one that needs investigating on Mortimer Street… however, this time they had 3 different variants of Polly Morgan’s “Still Birth” in the window.

"Still Birth", Polly Morgan 2010

I have to say I was taken slightly aback – as were the two Japanese tourists who like me stood staring at these installations for a good few minutes…

I was first drawn to the work by the shape of the glass dome and the colourful balloon but looking more closely I was then quite shocked to see the little dead bird hanging on the end of the string! I wasn’t really sure what to make of it all – other than I found it compelling in some way.  Its not that I can really say that I can see what the artist was trying to say but I was/am compelled to give it some time of thought and investigation… also, you cannot fault its execution even if the idea might not make sense at the moment!

Anyway, having since investigated Polly’s art a bit more – I have to say that I completely agree with The Telegraph – it’s all dead clever! I have to say that it certainly brings taxidermy right into the 21st century and very relevant as art.

"Still Life After Death", Polly Morgan 2006

There are quite a few of her works that appeal, but I think my favourite is the sleeping fox in the (very large) champagne coupe.  I’m not sure I like its official title though “Still Life after Death” which although very correct is quite grim despite the work itself being rather sweet. Need to give Polly her due for a nicely designed website too.

While on this subject, if you happen to be passing then there is a great restaurant in Barcelona called Taxidermista – which used to be the taxidermy workshop of the Museum of Natural Sciences…  their food is fresher than the name suggests!

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