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Artist Gonzalo Lebrija is currently part of a group exhibition at @museomaz in Mexico https://t.co/c1fpm3lRxQ https://t.co/GigMtMzMCG
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Eat the Rich, by Damien Hirst in @Design_Week https://t.co/2qLAZU4zTw
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#Hirst NEW series Eat the Rich depicts pharmaceutical packaging, replacing names by expressions of violence or forc… https://t.co/UnrCbLuivS
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NEW print series by Damien Hirst: Eat the Rich, now available here: https://t.co/UPeYaXMLkZ https://t.co/sc2Rh5PKk0
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Rachel Howard at Galería Pelaires until 13 September 2017 https://t.co/cwiT5D1Hgq https://t.co/upwjaXKtSc
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NEW Good and Bad 100% silk pyjamas by Ashley Bickerton now available https://t.co/voloY9wtLW https://t.co/cMAyTXzJHK
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Mat Collishaw: Thresholds will open at London’s @SomersetHouse on 18 May to coincide with @PhotoLondonFairhttps://t.co/LFHAn1BZIL
last month

Polly Morgan — The Box

May 15, 2014 by Kay

02 May 2014 – 31 May 2014

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery presents a new commission in The Box by British artist Polly Morgan. Upturning prevailing attitudes towards taxidermy, the artist uses animals as raw materials within her work. Essentially, the artist uses their remains to play out dark, macabre narratives which tap into the uncanny. Directly confronting death, Morgan’s sculptures manifest an innate curiosity into the internal mechanisms of the body. For the first time, the artist will unveil the underlying artifice of the taxidermy process in The Box.

Polly-Morgan-The-Box-Exhibition

Resembling a zoological display case, the work features a taxidermied python wound tightly around a gnarled, wooden branch. Unlike previous incarnations of The Box, Morgan has chosen to break out of the confines of the project space; embroiled together, both the snake and the branch emerge through a crack in the glass as if they have bludgeoned their way out.

Unusually, the snake is anatomically incomplete: dangling on a sinuous piece of skin, part of the body remains lifeless and flat whilst the rest is flawlessly lifelike. Here, Morgan has stopped stitching in order to reveal the wood, wire and thread interior. Similarly, the branch gradually transitions from looking like wood to fibreglass, with artificial fibres sticking haphazardly out of the end. Here, we see the experimental nature of Morgan’s deployment of taxidermy in full force.

Discussing the work, Morgan explains that: ‘the branch and snake combination subtly alludes to a phallus, whilst The Box (conveniently also a slang term for) to a vagina. To me it's a reflection on the dismantling of a relationship; tightly bound and seemingly authentic to start with, unraveled and raw at the end.’

Perched at the tip of the wire, a taxidermied starling stares inquisitively at the viewer whilst clutching a small piece of stuffing in its beak. Whilst the snake and branch may come to an end, both physically and symbolically, the bird suggests a renewal of life by using materials from the taxidermy process to line its nest.