Polly Morgan Masters the Art of Death

by: Emily Kirkpatrick

September 28, 2012

Polly Morgan WILD Art
Polly Morgan, photo by Gino Sprio

Polly Morgan may be officially considered a taxidermist, but she definitely isn’t creating your traditional hunting lodge decorations.  In fact, Morgan’s entire career as an artist really took off when she couldn’t find a non-traditionally stuffed animal for her own apartment. Although for many, the sight of an animal corpse is disturbing, Morgan takes animal bodies that have either come from road casualties or been given to her by pet owners and vets after natural deaths, and transforms them into beautiful, surreal works of art that, when viewed with an open mind, have the capacity to transport viewers into a realm of new possibilities and romanticism after death. From October 9th to 14th Morgan’s work will be featured in a new exhibition at All Visual Arts in London called Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Being.

Polly Morgan Bird Wings WILD Art
Black Fever and Blue Fever (2010) – Polly Morgan

Through her work, Morgan attempts to create unexpected juxtapositions of animals and habitat in order to force viewers of her art to reconsider the animal in a new light, as if for the first time. Baby pigs suckle from a dead tree, birds pull octopus tentacles from a foxes side, and birds are kept buoyant thanks to a handful of balloons. Although Morgan’s work delves into the morbid and tends to be quite controversial and upsetting, the artist considers her work to be a celebration of the animal’s life and form once its spirit has left the body. The artist said recently in an interview, “I don’t have much time for people who find it upsetting. They’re either the kind of person who screams at the sight of an unfiltered fish on their plate, or the kind who sentimentalizes everything and talks about treating a dead animal with ‘respect.’ I respect living animals, but I’m not so sure dead ones need to be treated in the same way. I think it’s childish to foist human sentiment onto an animal.” Polly Morgan’s art may offend some and turn other’s stomachs, but it has also captivated the imagination of people all over the art world.

Polly Morgan WILD Art
Atrial Flutter (2010) – Polly Morgan


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