Inspired by her visit to the Australian Facility of Taphonomic Research (AFTER), also known as the only body farm in the southern hemisphere, Antoinette Ratcliffe explores the concept of recomposition using taxidermy in her exhibition, After AFTER.
‘The term decomposition is widely used when referring to a dead body, but I prefer to use the term recomposition to describe the process in which the body moves from one state to another. Creating a piece of taxidermy is itself a form of recomposition, a process which the majority of people never get to see. As a taxidermist, I see how the animal lived and died through the wear and tear on the body I’m working on.
Antoinette Ratcliffe's exhibition features her taxidermy made from ethically-sourced animals. Each animal given to her came with a story from the person who found it or tried to save it. These stories have also informed the final recompositions.
The concepts of memento mori continue to influence Antoinette's current anthropomorphic series, giving the pieces an awareness of a quiet and sometimes sinister suspense, while maintaining a whimsical aesthetic.
Antoinette completed her Master of Arts at the Wintec School of Media Arts in 2011. She began learning taxidermy in 2014 and introduced the media into her artwork the following year. She has taxidermy pieces in collections held by the NZ Bird Society (Auckland), Zealandia, Otago Museum, Upper Hutt Predator Free Trust, and have featured in television shows made by MediaWorks.
To see more of her work, or to find her next ‘Introduction to Taxidermy’ class, visit her website: www.the-sick-bay.com
Superb Parrot with Pukeko Wishbone 2020 $800
Quail 2020 $550
Starling Head in Dried Hydrangeas $350
Rabbit and Lamb Bone Pie $450
Gouldian finch on Book 2020 $450 (SOLD)
Spur-winged Plover with Mask 2020 $500
Ferret on Rabbit Skin 2019 $650 (SOLD)
Three Zebra Finches with Dried Hydrangea 2020 $650
Bird Claws in Dried Hydrangea 2020 $350 (SOLD)
Archery Arrow with Nest and Two Java Finches 2020 $750
Please contact us for more photographs, to purchase or come instore to see the entire exhibition!