Artist Agustina Woodgate makes her skin rugs out of recycled stuffed animals. Keep her away from your cherished teddy bear.
Her Skin Rug series, which we came across on Sight Unseen, consists of a group of rugs made out of dissembled stuffed animals and turned into large quilt-like rugs that almost look like a kaleidoscope.
The rugs are themed around different colours, based on what is available. For example, black is not that common or available in animals, whilst brown and white old animals are more popular.
The inspiration for the project came from her own precious teddy bear, Pepe. She was looking at it one day, without eyes and worn to bits (sound familiar?) and decided that, as told to Sight Unseen, "the teddy bear wasn’t real. It was simply an object. But I also didn’t want to throw it away. That’s when I decided wanted to do something with the bear."
Warning: This may be painful for some readers.
The way that she makes the rugs is by cutting off the animal's head first, taking out the eyes and the stuffing. She does say that pulling out the stuffing is "like looking into the soul of the animal." Then she throws it away!
But she does save the eyes and labels for future use...and note the feet in the image above.
Then she picks apart the whole animal, trying not to cut the fabric and keeping it as whole as possible.
The result, after the hard job of piecing and sewing together the bits is a series of rugs that are beautiful to look at and full of poignant memories and resonances.