Trophy hunting and poaching symbolizes what's gone wrong with our relationship to nature. As we've written before, it epitomizes the idea of "mine versus ours," of the mindset that "values ownership more than access, that seeks possessions more than experiences." It is the result of pure greed, untempered by any need for survival or reciprocal respect for nature.
But collective consciousness about this unbalanced, take-all relationship is changing, be it through social media (witness the global outrage over the trophy killing of Cecil the lion), or through art, which is transforming this aspect of modern culture into something a little more wise. Having grown up in rural Wisconsin and familiar with trophy animal hunting decor, American artist Kelly Rene Jelinek of Little Stag Studio uses scraps of upholstery fabric to create cruelty-free and whimsical "faux taxidermy art."
As a child I spent most of my time with my nose in fairytale books. I absolutely marveled how the impossible was made possible in those stories: animals could talk, trees could move, and the most mundane of objects could become something magical and important. I wished that real life was like a fairytale. This longing that I had as a child has stayed with me through the years, and I find that I am constantly trying to make "real life" more magical and extraordinary through the artwork that I create.
The taxidermy art that I create is a great example of this: something traditional and commonplace is transformed into something new and exciting. I find that Edgar Allen Poe's quote pretty much sums up everything that I am about: "There is no exquisite beauty... without some strangeness in the proportion."
To create her life-size works, Jelinek uses the same foam mounts that taxidermists will use, layering on pieces of recycled fabric. She uses glass eyes, and sometimes uses real antlers and bits of furs that are either "sheds" or recuperated from flea markets or vintage coats.
Perfect for a conversation (conservation!) piece, or remaking a man cave, Jelinek's art reminds us of that ever-important concept of wasting nothing, of making do with what's available, and creative life over wreaking death on other species (and humanity too). It's one small idea to restore a better relationship with nature, and looks great to boot. Check out Little Stag Studio and Etsy.
[Via: This Is Colossal]