In the thread on my post yesterday about Courtney Cerruti's "Animal Anomalies" paper sculptures, an anonymous commenter turned me on to the astounding "Vegan Taxidermy" of Berkeley-based sculptor Aimée Baldwin. She constructs these beauties from "hand-cut crepe paper feathers over individually-shaped foam and paper-mâché body, with wire legs, sculpted claws and beaks, and taxidermy glass eyes (the only pre-fabricated part of the birds)." From Baldwin's artist statement:
My concern for habitat conservation, environmental issues, and the effects of consumer culture on our relationship with the planet and with each other, has motivated me to distance my work from mass production of disposable merchandise. Instead I am focusing on individually sculpting unique pieces of art work which emphasize delicate highly-skilled craftsmanship and whose variety reflects the natural variation within the species it honors.
One of my goals is that my work encourage people to reflect upon our relationship with both nature and human made objects at the same time. Taxidermy represents a particularly strange commoditization of nature, with a complicated and varied history.