Burnt Offerings: Four Reliquaries Devoted to Animals, 2001 and 2018, Sculpture Installation. Pine, sheet metal, hardware, velvet, knobs, butchers’ knives, animal bones, photographs and cards, 24" x 19" x 12.5" each
My work examines society’s relationship with animals and our disconnectedness to Nature. We have utilized animals as icons in the arts, and as literary and religious referents to inspire us. Most animals on this planet are no longer regarded as sacred or looked upon as magical totems. I created four reliquaries for chickens, hogs, sheep and rabbits. The outside wooden doors frame images of how we typically represent animals in literature, for decoration and in art or rather how most perceive animals. Once the doors are open, the hidden images are revealed framed in metal showing these animals’ lives during slaughter, symbolically and literally. Each reliquary contains those animal’s bones and the butcher’s knife manufactured for that animal’s butchering. Each drawer is filled with “saint cards” showing images from visual culture such as nursery rhymes and stories about these animals in pastoral settings. The drawers also contain contrasting cards depicting how animals we use live and die. The cards represent the dichotomy between common cultural perceptions and reality. All of my studio work falls under one title: The Rendered.