Claire Morgan is a contemporary artist who works with strange and interesting subject matter. She mostly works with taxidermy animals, insects, and various items from nature. Her installations make you question the world around you because she makes nature look so precise in her sculptures. They are incredibly fragile in nature and have extreme interest in revealing a different habitat that her viewer has to confront.
side view detail view bottom view
Fall Out, 2010
Ginkgo leaves, 3 taxidermy canaries, nylon, lead, acrylic
98 x 98 x 150 cm
Fall Out is an installation that Morgan did in 2010 that has been exhibited at Under The Sun, Galerie Karsten Greve, and Cologne. Fall out is extremely well crafted in an interesting, funnel like form. The curvilinear aspects are continued as the leaves and canaries fall from this giant nest like hemisphere. From the side view there is a definite linear aspect that can be seen because of how particular she was when hanging each leaf. There is an extreme sense of a push and pull between the order and chaos in this piece. The circular hemisphere above seems very orderly, but as the life falls out of that protection, it becomes chaotic. I think this can be representative of not only the bird’s journey, but of human life as well.
The Grass is Always Greener, 2010
Torn green plastic bags, 2 taxidermy squirrels, nylon, lead, acrylic
90 x 98 x 250 cm
When one hears the title, The Grass is Always Greener, one tends to add or finish the saying, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side.’ In this installation piece, she has clearly created two sides. As you can see in the detailed view, the squirrels are almost longing at each other to be on that ‘other side’ with each other. I think it is interesting that she has put such a natural being in with the man-made plastics. Again, her incredible attention to perfection creates beautiful linear qualities in the giant cubes.
frontal view side/bottom view detail view
Silver Lining, 2009
0.72m x 0.7m x 2m (h) from ceiling
Taxidermy Barn Owl and Rat, thistle seeds, dandelion seeds, lead, nylon, acrylic
In Silver Lining, Morgan’s use of the animal seems to have a bit more importance in the story behind it. To see a ‘silver lining’ is to provide a good outlook on a difficult situation. This difficult situation that Morgan has emphasized in this installation is the struggle between life and death. The owl has to live, therefore it must eat or it will die. And the mouse will die if it does not get away from the owl in order to live. It’s as if the owl is sitting atop this ‘silver lining,’ which is getting in the way of its supper, or protecting the mouse. I think this another great example of Morgan’s extreme attention to detail, and it also shows how important light can be in her instillations. The thistle and dandelion seeds would not keep their light integrity without this light showering the sculpture.
Thistle seeds, 2 taxidermy rooks, nylon, lead, acrylic
180 x 180 x 300 cm
The title is, again, a lot to think about when looking at this sculpture. Throe means a violent spasm or a sharp attack of emotion; when you look at this sculpture you can see this violent feeling as the two rooks have collided together. It is as if they have pushed or flown through this sphere of thistle seeds in order to attach each other. The amount of patience it must have taken to install this piece, or any piece of Morgan’s, must have been incredible; the way she was able to make the sphere look as if it was being broken into is beautiful. I think the calm, light, and peaceful nature of the sphere is greatly contrasted with the birds by her use of black and white. I also feel that the shadows on the ground play a huge part in this piece of art as well, because in order to do that she has had to really use the light in a creative way.
On the roof 4.5m (l) approx, in the field 45m (l) approx
Fleece, twigs and pins
Approx 30cm long
Life-sized jumbo party balloon cast in lead