A No Bones View
A No Bones View
After seeing Kelly's work for the first time at the Third Year Students' Degree Show (Derby University), we all agreed that it was different. Although we have seen this sort of media before it has never been at first hand, so we thought it was a perfect opportunity to quiz her about her work...
RDC: Hey Kelly, could you tell us where you're from please?
RDC: What media do you use?
I work mixed media, and have a strong fascination with animal bodies. Currently my practice involves the amalgamation of taxidermy (wings, feet and skulls), clay and jewellery.
RDC: Have you tried any other media and what made you decide to go for skeletal sculpture?
I’ve used casting processes and plaster to produce rat sculptures which still retain the fur from the animal, and a similar process with baby rats and rubber, which resulted in vulnerable, foetus- like replications of the animals.
RDC: Also, you tend to use jewellery to portray (what look's like) internal organs spilling out of the birds chest, could you explain how that works please?
The birds are laced with wounds which I gouge into the clay once the body is formed. This is to portray the treatment of the birds, as they are a species which is prone to frequent culling. The jewellery is also in reference to their associated myths about collecting and hoarding shiny, precious objects. It’s quite an involved process (especially as I’m a perfectionist), and getting it right can take a long time to finely balance the elements to create each individual.
RDC: Where do you get the skeletons, is it a matter of picking up road kill?
All of the bird derivatives are sourced through various people on Ebay: some are collected from fields, and others are sadly from other people dealing in “pest” control, whereby the birds are trapped or shot. I am wholeheartedly against the culling of particular species for the advantage of others, and instead would propose the preservation of all life, rather than only those species deemed “cute” or useful to people in some way.
RDC: You have just finished your degree, are you going to go and chill for a few months or have you got other plans?
I’m planning on relaxing for a couple of weeks to recharge, but will be applying for many more shows and taking some time to figure out my next move.
RDC: If you were allowed to use any skeletal remains that you wanted, what would you choose?
Hmm, that’s difficult. I use the magpie skulls and wings etc. because they are a pest species and it’s basically a comment on the treatment of animals, especially those that are “inconvenient”, “disruptive” or incongruous with human expectation or desire. So I think it’d have to be something endangered or extinct due to the actions of people, like the Dodo to enable it to have the same relevance as a subject.
RDC: Jelly Tots or Partridge Pate?
Jelly tots! I love sweets.
RDC: Have you got any shows coming up or places to exhibit your work yet?
I’ve been shortlisted for this years Wirksworth Festival, so I’m waiting to hear for definite about that. I’ve applied for a couple of other things as well, so its wait and see at the moment!
RDC: It was great to meet you Kelly, all the best and thanks for your time.
More from Kelly G's site... HERE