In a talk at Damien Minton Gallery, the art theorist discusses Art and the Animal
The well known animal art writer turned artist now shares the same dead animal subject and discusses his experiences photographing roadkill with Susan McHugh.
There have been many births on Tony and Steven’s sheep farm, but also death as some lambs and ewes don’t make it. Often its the crows pecking out the eyes of the weak or in distress, or there are difficult births such as a set of large triplets, two made it out while the ewe died with the third inside. the twins subsequently died. Ewes will sometimes abandon their lamb too and Steven and Tony raise as many of the orphan lambs by bottle feeding as they can. Their neighbor’s are helping too.
The dear sweet forms of the newborn lambs are often so slight. Another dead pregnant ewe was very heavy with the baby inside, the blood streaming out of her eyes show her death was caused by the crows blinding her.
While macabre, placing the lamb suckling her also commemorates her motherly state in death and attempts to reflect the time of death, spring lambing as the weather becomes warmer.
It was the dirty end of winter when I went with Adam and Tepi out to the farm for the chough and starling to be placed on a canvas together.
Tepi had found the starling on the farm, while I had encountered the chough dieing by the roadside amidst morning traffic. His kin surrounded him calling in distress. I moved him away from further damage under a tree and the next day found him dead.
Birds print so beautifully, their feathers being conducive to ‘drawn’ edges and a clean silhouette.