Emily Valentine

Feathers are never far away in the work of Emily Valentine. What was a readily available material for the artist in her early career as a costume maker and jeweler has evolved to become an ongoing commentary about the status of birds in mankind’s insistent hierarchical categorization of life around us.

Many varieties of bird life are represented: some exotic, some native and some famously despised, in the form of the Indian Myna Bird. Some of the feathers have been obtained commercially by Valentine – dyed in brilliant but unnatural hues. Others have been painstakingly collected from creatures who have met with accidental deaths, and the Myna Bird feathers have been harvested by Valentine herself. A specialized trap, set in a friend’s large native garden, produced 130 birds in one year alone – a testament to the virile nature of this registered pest.

In her most recent work avian mechanics have become the focus of Valentine’s attention. Interested in the way that human invention has stolen its technology from the genius of nature, Valentine has brought the design of aeroplanes and rockets back to the source of their inspiration, rejoining them with the forms of birds.

Central to Valentine’s practice is an awareness of humankind’s double standards when it comes to the forms of life with which we share the world. The subject of animals as ‘pests’ is particularly complex. Valentine is intrigued by the notion of that which does and doesn’t belong: one considered good and the other to be eradicated. Who decides that the Myna Bird is a public enemy, and therefore fare game for trapping? Questions such as ‘why is only some life precious’ and ‘when is it acceptable to kill another living creature’ are raised readily.

Says Emily,”In my work I wish to discuss how attitudes to wearing animals and birds parts have changed. Is this just because of fashion, or has society become more caring of animals? I wish to stimulate the viewer with the uncomfortable nature of the feather, to question our callousness treatment of animals and birds, and ask how we sub-consciously classify animals – pet or pest, valued or worthless, beautiful or plain and why.”

Emily recently concluded ‘Flying Flings’ at the Australian Coucil sponsored Craft Act

Cole Gerst

Cole Gerst’s new group of work Turf Wars focuses on the continued chaos we inflict upon wildlife and the world around us. As a kid, Cole enjoyed many of these artists’ fantastical stories about faraway lands, or conversations with Higher Powers. He was inspired by their ability to create art that revealed the world as only they saw it. Cole’s relationship with outsider art is evident within his work, which is spontaneous, whimsical and provides evidence of an imaginary dimension. Turf Wars opens April 3rd at Ghetto Gloss Gallery.

Via:   My Love For You..

Tiffany Bozic

If there is an artist alive today that shares the vision of this site so perfectly, it is Tiffany Bozic.  Her art is a divine marriage of science and haunting symbolism, provoking and sometimes Gigeresque. More wholesome influences such as John James Audubon and Ernst Haeckel are not lost on us however – each piece presents a delicate beauty wherein the macabre is seen by only the curious.

From her biography:

“Tiffany Bozic has spent the majority of her life living with and observing the intricacies of nature. Having grown up on a farm in Arkansas, she was inspired by the natural world at an early age. Blending her external observations with the internal world has led her to refine a distinct style. Her work often incorporates richly pigmented acrylic paint on solid maple wood panels. “

Below, “No Ones Fault But My Own” depicts three magpies perching upon some rather intestinal branches above a fallen dove. This and other works from her Bedtime Stories series were shown at the Kinsey/ DesForges Gallery in 2008.

Timothy Lantz

It was only a matter of time before we featured Timothy Lantz. Among my absolute favorit artists, his tragic romanicism and penchant for representing the essence of mythological symbolism inspires a lasting appreciation in anyone with like taste. Underpinning Lantz’s powerful aesthetic is long experience. His exacting technical abilities, which go far beyond the traditional skill set, combine with core strengths in color and composition to create art that reflects—and refracts—the essence of beauty.

………Timothy Lantz

Kerri Fuhr Glass

Kerri Fuhr is a Canadian glass bead artist specializing in miniature portraits of whimsical animals. She uses a variety of materials such as antique ivory and Italian glass. This bead was handcrafted with Italian glass and wound on a 3/32″ mandrel. The raven is made from thin glass “stringer” and is melted directly into the bead.

To view her collection or get on of your very own one of a kind  pieces, click here.

Kate McGwire

I gather, collate, re-use, layer, peel, burn, reveal, locate,question, duplicate, play and photograph

In an attempt to avoid the puerility of the present, some artists such as Kate McGwire have turned to myth and ritual to find meaning in the now via a gothic surrealism.

Much of Kate’s work references Freud’s ‘Unheimliche’ (the uncanny, or, literally, the ‘unhomely’); the idea, to quote Freud, of ‘a place where the familiar can somehow excite fear’. It also embraces artistic notions of the Abject.

She will take an everyday thing or idea that is intrinsically discomfiting and, by re-framing it, entice the viewer into re-examining   their preconceptions and prejudices – cultural, historical, personal – about the everyday. The viewer’s response is visceral, the impact immediate, the ideas triggered resonating in their mind somewhere beyond rational interpretation.

In her latest installation “Strangeness & Charm”, the use of feathers creates a visual experience of fleeting thought, turmoil, and anything else that might twist through your psyche. Truly breathtaking work!

Link: http://www.katemccgwire.com/

Thank you to Meighan.

Polly Morgan

In 1889 Carl Akeley, working for the Milwaukee Public Museum, created the first total habitat diorama by arranging stuffed muskrats into a facsimile of their natural environment. While the originators of the diorama strove to heighten its sense of reality, many contemporary artists have used the medium’s format to comment on its artificiality or hyper reality.

Polly Morgan is one such fairly new British artist focused on Avian still life. Rather than mimicking the natural setting, she places them in unexpected and wholly unnatural scenes which encourage us to look at them with a renewed perspective. Ranging from the baroque to the hilarious, each piece sheds its typical associations of commonality with her unique style.

View more of Polly’s work: Link


This lecture will examine the work of several photographers who use the form of the natural history museum diorama to comment on the connection (or lack of connection) between the human and natural world.

Diane Fox is a Lecturer in the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she teaches graphic design and photography. Fox received her MFA from The University of Tennessee and her BFA from Middle Tennessee State University. Her current body of photographic work, “UnNatural History,” is composed of images shot in various natural history museums in the US and Europe. Her solo exhibits have been exhibited in the Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA; Tower Fine Arts Gallery, SUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY; Gallery Stokes in Atlanta, GA; Santa Reparata Gallery, Florence Italy; Apex Gallery, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD; Sarratt Gallery, Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN; and Dom Muz Gallery, Torun, Poland among others. You can see some of her work at dianefoxphotography.com.