My sculpture series Magical Zoo is an examination of the impact of human activities on the environment and the world of animals. Born out of desire to help restore nature and to reduce my environmental footprint, the pieces are made of up-cycled materials such as packaging, the only other substance added being transparent varnish glue. Each animal is depicted showing its unique beauty and magic.
One of the biggest, ugliest truths of our time is that we have been knowingly destroying our planet and killing off its natural life in pursuit of the falsehoods promised by mass consumption.
Displaying a trophy of a stuffed dead animal in one’s interior is an odd way of showing off one’s perceived affluence, or bravery, or honour, an absurd social construct of flaunting one’s status, especially today, in the context of the planet-wide ecological disaster we are living through.
Magical realism is a way of conveying an alternative, happier reality, a choice to reflect on the terrible truth through the means of whimsy and joy.
My new series of sculptures Magical Zoo observes this calamity through the prism of the wonder and playfulness of the natural world, through the miracle and majesty that is found in each and every animal, big and small, aquatic and land.
The medium of the series consists of post mass consumption up-cycled material: paper products, packaging, non-recyclable plastics, fabric leftovers, other items that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. All the colour on the finished sculptures comes from swatches of the up-cycled material itself. The only other substance added to the work is the transparent varnish glue. The pieces in the series are produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Magical Zoo creates its own reality through the dualism of a colourful, whimsical representation of an animal whose habitat has been destroyed by industrial expansion or deforestation. Or an animal that was a hair away from going extinct, or an animal that could be next unless we do something today to stop this tragedy.
The element of magic makes it easier to cope with the fact that our planet is dying, and that it is our fault.