AS FAR as art goes, I'm the kind of gal that normally keeps well within the boundaries. I don't work with bodily fluids or refuse - I keep within the socially excepted 'norm'. However, when invited along to a taxidermy class with a fabulous fine arts friend, I discovered the result of the class, my little mouse, was far more taboo than I'd first thought. But was that taboo seeded by those around me, or was it something I was harbouring myself?When first discussing the class, I had my own Scrubs moment. The whole little talking mouse aside, my imagination floating away with me. Sadly my PoMo assessment of taxidermy fell directly to a television series. Given slightly more thought, my mind read something along the lines of 'taxidermy = museum. Museum = science-slash-art.' So far so clear? A little more adventuring and I'm thinking 'Antiquated/Gothic (era)/Edgar Allan Poe.' These curiosities have always fascinated me.
During the class I discover I'm one of the only people partaking who is not a vegetarian. There are discussions as to the implications of these Veges taking part, and I wonder at this. What makes this little segue-from-normality OK for me? I'm one of those non-Veg who has an occasional burst of guilt at her meat-eating ways. I love little lambies, remember fondly times spent with my grandfather and his lambs (grown for their wool), yet cannot associate the cute little fluffy things and my roast meat.
However, This guilt I was feeling as I continued with the dissection and stuffing was coupled with an utter fascination at what I was seeing, the new understanding I was reaching, an awe of life. I thanked my little mouse for sharing himself with me, for teaching me. I'm left to wonder now, though, at all of my artistic endeavours. What are the wider social, environmental and moral implications for what I am doing?