Here is a selection of work by London-based artist Kelly McCallum, featuring pieces based on Victorian taxidermy.
McCallum adds precious metals, found objects and natural materials to preserved animals and insects to create sculptures and jewellery.
Here's a statement from McCallum:
Kelly McCallum graduated from the Goldsmithing department at the Royal College of Art in summer 2006: a jeweller's interest in scale and attention to detail is apparent in both her wearable objects and her sculptural pieces. Her work is influenced by both story-telling and natural history, employing Victorian taxidermy as well as insects, precious metals and other treasures from her personal collection of curiosities.
She is interested in the stories of how things age, how they decay or are preserved, are forgotten, covered in shrouds of grime, only to be found again and given new meanings by our own sentimentality.
Taxidermy seeks to preserve life by celebrating death: it is a strange half-live, a suspension, an illusion. Insects on the other hand, through their lives, destroy this illusion: they feed on death, breaking down, demolishing, creating movement from a silent tableau, forcing change and action.
McCallum's work juxtaposes and celebrates the interplay of these warring factions, preservation and disintegration. They become the characters in meoldramatic scenes of mortal stillness and ever-present decay.