Polly Morgan on taxidermy

14.10.20. Artist’s studio. London

Polly Morgan is an artist who has been hugely responsible for the recent revival of interest in taxidermy, an art form more readily associated with the Victorians, hunting trophies, and dusty bell jars. The one-time English Literature graduate and bar manager has set about upsetting those traditions, creating dark, but alluring, pieces that often place her creatures in disorientating environments.

In her hands, a prone, and obviously lifeless, bird dangles from a string attached to a single yellow balloon; a white rat can be found filling a champagne glass; and a stag’s belly is filled with tiny bats. As one critic wrote: ‘These animals are not restored to life, but so to speak, resuscitated into their deaths.’

Her latest show, entitled How to Behave at Home, opened at London’s Bomb Factory Art Foundation on 14 October 2020 and features snakes, which spill out of cast concrete and polystyrene containers. Perhaps signalling a few direction.

In this episode we talk about: how local nail bars played a vital role in her new pieces; dealing with artist’s block and why she fell out of love with her own work; growing up in the Cotswolds and not going to art school; learning the craft of taxidermy; and being her own worst critic. 

Find out more about Polly Morgan

Every Other Dance features in Polly’s latest exhibition, How to Behave at Home.

This is an older piece from 2006, called Rest A Little On The Lap Of Life.

Still Birth Yellow was created in 2010.

This is another piece for the new Bomb Factory exhibition, which is currently untitled. All images courtesy of the artist.