Wednesday 7 September 2011

Still life or nature morte? Roadkill hits the headlines

A recent news item on Yahoo! draws attention to the activities of Andrew Lancaster, an English immigrant who, on his arrival in New Zealand, took up taxidermy and has become a leading exponent of roadkill art. Says the article
"... “Some people call me sick and some think it’s pretty good,” Mr Lancaster told New Zealand website Stuff. “I saw heaps of dead things on the side of the road and thought it was a waste. When I’m driving along the road and see something I pull up and go back for it,” he admitted.

Mr Lancaster, now living in Tauranga, New Zealand, sells the animal hybrids on Trade Me – the Kiwi equivalent of Craigslist. Working during the day as a marina caretaker, he creates his custom animals in the evenings and on days off.

The amateur taxidermist said he collects birds, pheasants, rats, ferrets and has even found possum babies – discovered inside of their mother’s pouch. Mr Lancaster insists that he only works on animals he finds dead and would never hunt an animal. The unique hybrids have developed a following as his Facebook site ‘Andrew Lancaster Taxidermy Creations’ currently has 241 fans ...".
Andrew Lancaster is by no means unique, since other roadkill artists have hit the headlines.  They include Adam Morrigan (Horsley, Gloucestershire, England) and a group based in the United States.  Art & Artifice reminds budding roadkill taxidermists that they should check with local legislation before scraping their raw materials off the asphalt: in some countries it can be a criminal offence to possess all or part of an endangered species -- so think twice before you stuff that white rhino ...

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