A visual culmination between biology and art, my work represents my personal fascination with specimens found in the back storage of major natural history collections. My art works in tandem with the vision statement of many biological institutions and aims at showcasing the biodiversity of life on our planet, with particular respect to Ornithology - the branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. My current body of work pays tribute to the individual specimens which make up these vast assemblages. Many of the birds depicted in my work are specimens which were collected prior to the turn of the 20th century, and still remain in near perfect condition. The project aims at recreating a similar aura of life and individuality amongst these birds and sets out to capture the moment of awe that I experienced among the collections. The choice to include the specimen tag on each bird instills this principle of identity and serves as a tribute of respect and admiration for these subjects.
I paint these specimens with the mindset of a scientist - recreating each bird as accurately as possible. Through the careful process of painting, these deceased specimens become visually reanimated and infused with a new sense of life - challenging the way in which our culture depicts death. Additionally, Still Life places an emphasis on the juxtaposition between the scientific community’s inherent desire to acquire these treasures for use in preserving and understanding living species on our planet.