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Recent work by Kelly McCallum

New York gallery R 20th Century has sent images of recent work by London taxidermy artist Kelly McCallum.

The pieces feature various species of Victorian stuffed birds embellished with gold maggots or watch parts, conveying decay and the passing of time.

Photos are by Sherry Griffin for R 20th Century Gallery


Below: Do you Hear What I Hear?, a Victorian taxidermy fox with 18ct gold plated maggots. Designed and made by Kelly McCallum, London, UK, 2007. This piece features in the new exhibition, Telling Tales at the V&A

Here’s some text from the artist:


The grey film of dust covering things has become their best part.
- Walter Benjamin, Dream Kitsch, 1927

Kelly McCallum’s artist statement begins with the quote above.

This is one of the jumping off points for her exploration of how things age — how they decay or are preserved, are forgotten, are covered in shrouds of grime — only to be found again and given new meanings.

McCallum resurrects antique taxidermy and preserved insects through the application of sculptural elements inspired and informed by her training in goldsmithing.

She incorporates antique watch parts, parasite insects cast in gold, precious jewels, eggs and other wondrous clues to an unspoken narrative.

Her work is beautifully conceived, exceptionally well crafted and beguilingly mysterious.

Above: Victorian taxidermied bird sculpture with gilt quail eggs, a nest of human hair and miniature jewel beetles, on a branch stand, 2008.

Above: Victorian taxidermied bird sculpture with antique clock parts and pocket watch, on a branch stand, 2008

Above: Victorian taxidermied bird sculpture with antique clock parts and pocket watch, on a branch stand, 2008


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Alireza Yavari

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