Art Info / Item Details
Polly Morgan, 2010
Featured in the In Your Face exhibition
Materials: Giclée print on watercolour paper
Dimensions: 50 x 40 cm
Edition of 150
Morgan is a London-based British artist who uses taxidermy to create her art. She is known for presenting animals outside their natural habitats – rats in champagne glasses, chicks harnessed by balloons, bursting from the seams of coffins or the earpieces of a telephone receiver. In 'Dead Heads' Morgan returns to a taxidermy simplicity, confronting us with the medium's fundamental capacity for surprise and shock. We see a fistful of birds jostling in the grasp of a human hand, in the manner of hungry chicks in a nest, each baby bird seems animated by that urgent desire to live, yet as our eye travels to the wires clutched in the fingers, the point where we expect to see straggling wiry legs, we find that the whole is deceit, and against the vulnerable softness of the birds we are struck by the sinister mechanics of the wires. This is a piece which opposes the two sides of taxidermy to eachother, its theatrical facade, and its behind-the-scenes mirage-building, and in so doing doubles its capacity to un-nerve and unsettle. We end in the way be began, by asking, 'what are we looking at?'