"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi
From early childhood, I have collected animal artefacts and ephemera, remains and reminders of beings that inhabited our shared space. The majority my collection can be dated as early 19 C and represent a value system accepted as normal at that time: the perception that animals were not sentient creatures – whose value was as a commodity or a Trophy. I have looked at my collection, added to it, cherished it and learnt from it whilst eventually concluding that it is mostly a reminder of our abuse of animals.
The collection is also evidence of a squandered resource but to allow it to become an iconoclasm would consolidate the original crime. I photographed each one as a piece of contemporary Vanitas art, the message to be read according to individual conscience. I chose to use a black background - mourning and the items presented are ungrounded, floating in time and space. I have worked as the artist / curator to remind people of the original flawed curatorship of the whole animal. We have taken all the things we admire, and made them into something we can have at hand - an immediacy of experience. It is ironic that the unwilling donors of these items are often now equally as rare and valuable
Tomorrow this might be all there is – as species decline so does our moral progress