As part of the exhibition Death, British artist Rose Robson takes up residence at SHOWstudio for two days to showcase her unique take on taxidermy. Drawing inspiration from natural history books, Robson will create a swarm-like sculpture from a range of different bird carcasses. As an anatomical impossibility the work becomes something of a drawing in space, mapping out the long cylinders created when birds circle and coil in the sky, and channelling the dramatic impact of a swirling swarm, which slowly breaks apart as small groups of birds fling themselves to Earth.
Robson's unconventional taxidermy is rooted in abstraction. The young sculptor uses a diverse combination of wings, including pheasant, crow, and magpie, reshaping and distilling them beyond a literal depiction toward a much more expressive end. Her use of birds is deliberate. Where they, on the one hand, represent a delicate beauty, birds can also symbolize an impending doom. While the snowy white dove is a popular image of peace, the black rave is more macabre in its associations. Robson's work is perfectly balanced between these poles, tirelessly pivoting between a representation of life and death. Tune in on 1 and 2 August 2012 to watch Robson's process unfurl from the first cut into a bird, to the final stitch of her unique taxidermy.
Shop Rose Robson's taxidermy.