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FLIGHTLESS PLIGHT

Artist

Robert Reed

Model

Indigo Hudson

Materials

Doilies, Cage, Vinyl, Beads, Taxidermy Forms

Artist Statement

A decade ago, I was inspired by an artist at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. He had covered a piece of a taxidermy form in red leather. I was always interested in invasive species, and wanted to try taxidermy. I lived in Hawaii, where many exotic  birds had all but disappeared due to the Japanese White Eye eating their food. I also learned that for the first time in history, New Zealand was paying to kill rats, rabbits, stouts, Australian possums, and feral cats because they were killing the flightless birds. The bounty was so popular that people with domestic cats were afraid to let them outside as they might be mistaken as feral.

 

I chose to make this piece all white to represent the ghostlike appearance of animals. The model is a representation of the flightless bird, since it is in a cage and covered in doilies. The invasive animals are on the outside waiting to get to the bird. Most of the animals are made from taxidermy forms covered in vinyl with stitching concealed by pearls, beads and fake fur. I found a bird cage at a Thrift Store and covered the model in stark white used doilies.