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Turning the world of taxidermy upside down
11:00am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
TURNING the world of taxidermy inside out is contemporary artist Polly Morgan.
The East Londoner’s work will be on display at Warrington Museum for visitors from tomorrow, Friday, but the original take on stuffed animals has already caused quite a stir.
She said: “I’m crazy about animals and never use anything that’s been killed for me.
“I wanted animals that looked dead not for macabre or morbid reasons but because I found animals that were made to look alive were not as convincing.
“Something laying dead could be a real animal which had a prolonged effect for me and could suspend your disbelief for longer.
“Sometimes I think people wilfully misinterpret my work and I get some angry people e-mailing me but I think sometimes they’re just looking for something to be annoyed about.
“Other people just don’t like to see animals that way but to them I say each to their own.
“Animals are beautiful and when they’re no longer in need of their shell I see it as a form of recycling.”
Polly, aged 33, stumbled across taxidermy 10 years ago when she was ‘young and looking for something to do with her life’.
She said she was hooked after her first lesson and thought it was an area where she could ‘make her mark’.
The country girl’s first inspiration struck following developing a fondness for pigeons after growing up surrounded by animals and then moving to London.
She added: “In London pigeons are the only wildlife you see and I wanted one looking like it was in flight in my living room.
“From there I wanted to practice and my mum’s friends would bring me things their cats had caught or I would drive to the country looking for road kill.
“Now it’s got to the point where I have to turn things away as I have five freezers full of animals.”
Polly, who admits she has never been a squeamish person, turned her hobby to art when she was asked to fill four glass jars for a friend’s bar.
Street artist Banksy was at the unveiling and members of the press which suddenly saw her art career take off.
The Warrington exhibition includes pieces from the last four years including a collection of birds made to look like they are ‘pulsing with life and flying’, a fox and an octopus joined together with birds appearing to pollinate it as a surreal interpretation of nature feeding off itself and a mynah bird with a ball of scrunched up paper and pencil representing her frustration when she had ran out of good ideas.
Derek Dick, from Warrington Museum, said a lot of people were already excited about Polly’s work coming to the town and tickets for a talk she would be doing in November were in such demand they already have a reserve list.
He said: “Children don’t see taxidermy as dead animals, they seem them as alive with characters to them.
“It will be interesting to see what reaction it gets and it’s great to bring some contemporary work to the museum.”
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