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Troy Emery

Artist 308

Troy Emery

Fake Taxidermy

Textile sculpture

Troy Emery is an Australian artist based in Melbourne. His art practice encompasses sculpture, painting, and drawing.

He is known primarily for ‘Fake Taxidermy’ sculptures where using textiles he creates animal-like forms. His work examines the discourse surrounding the delineation between fine arts and craft. Emery explores this through his subject matter of animals. He uses this to see how animals are both entrenched decorative motifs and tokens of ecological ruination. The domestication of animals can be seen as both a victory of humanity but also a clear reminder of its failings.

At the core of Troy Emery's 'fake taxidermy' sculptures examine his interest in humankind's relationship with animals. Often using materials that have been traditionally associated with craft, Emery explores the contrast between art and craft while contemplating the idea that animals serve as decorative objects for humans.

A typical Troy Emery sculpture begins as a polyurethane foam mannequin—the kind used by taxidermists—in the form of an animal.

He uses materials such as pompoms, yarn, tinsels, tassels, and pelt. Emery completely covers the mannequin to create his creatures.

This process has led Emery to describe his sculptures as 'fake taxidermy' by giving a new skin to the animal without producing a fully taxidermied object.

“My work is an ongoing project of producing a series of artworks that investigate decoration and the animal form and the aesthetics of craft associated with natural history. In my sculpture practice, taxidermy foam bodies are covered in bright polyester pom poms and craft textiles such as tassle fringing. The artworks, non-descript predator animals with their playfully colourful pelts, become hyper exotic specimens in a menagerie of art / animal objects.” - Troy Emery

Speaking of his work Emery explains he creates an artwork masquerading as a lesson in natural history. He see himself as following a process that mimics taxidermy, therefore, he see his art practice as a kind of mimicry.

“The particular animals I choose to work with fall between being exotic and easily recognisable. The taxidermy mannequins used do represent particular species such as: mountain lions, wolverines and foxes but with the addition of their colourful pelts they become harder to classify. The colours of these animals are like those of exotically coloured birds of paradise prized for the vibrancy of their feathers but ultimately the colour combinations of my animals are impossibly replicated in nature.” Troy Emery

Sources Consulted


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