Now I know that in certain hipster circles, bones, antlers, and taxidermy and things like that are really trendy. But I don't care. I grew up with taxidermy, antlers, bones and animal skulls in my house ever since I was a little girl and I've been obsessed with it since forever. I will never hunt and I am extremely sensitive to seeing animals suffer. But I do at least respect those who do hunt who use every part of the animal and do everything they can to avoid letting the animal suffer. I was vegetarian for a period of time but I ended up becoming very sick and my anemia became very severe and dangerous so red meat has to be a part of my weekly diet in addition to supplements for iron. I try my best to both respect those who don't believe in eating animals or using animals for any human benefit while also respecting those who are on the opposite end of the spectrum. But I of course have a problem with those who torture, harm, or mistreat animals. Nothing makes me as heart broken as seeing little lives being mistreated. My entire family has an extreme sensitivity to animals suffering and we are all very passionate about treating animals well. So much that every time my parents say, "Ok, we are not getting any more pets..." inevitably, my dad or sisters come home with a kitten or a dog they found somewhere and say, "We need to take care of it!" Or my mom sneaks home some new chicks because they are too cute. Haha. I grew up with: peacocks, chickens, horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, fish, hedgehogs, deer in the back yard, bears digging in the trash, you name it. We love animals.
So now that that preface is out of the way, I love bones and animal skeletons and skulls. Both having grown up with them and being an art major who mostly focused in portraiture and the study of the human body, I just am fascinated with the structure of animal bodies. I love how bones and bodies over time deteriorate and become a part of nature again. I think they are both sacred and simply and purely a part of nature and the earth. My family is part Cherokee in addition to a ton of other nationalities and I was raised Christian with a liberal and Buddhist influence so the reverence of nature and animals is a huge part of my family. As bones deteriorate, I think they can take on a similar look as crumbling branches and I think it is so beautiful how all things decay and crumble to the earth. I hope to have a small but special collection of skulls, antlers and bones as I get older.
My parents' house has a lot of antiques in it including a lot of different kinds of animal antlers. Something I love about antiques is that they're basically like an upgraded version of thrift finds. Investing in antiques means that usually the value of your antique will increase overtime so it is a wise investment. And your carbon footprint is low when you simply reuse old things from the past like decorating with very very old antlers and tables and such. Something I loved about growing up around a lot of antiques and very old antlers is that I felt surrounded by history. And I want that to be a part of my future home too.
My dad has an AMAZING bull skull that he traded for with a friend when he was a few years younger than me in his college years. It's name is Gilbert (spoken in a French accent like "jeell-beeeerr" haha) and I will get to inherit it when I am older. It is in incredible condition with huge horns so when I do inherit it, I need to keep it somewhere safe and special. Right now, a 600 sq ft apartment that we will probably move out of in 6 months or so is probably not the right place for it. So in the meantime, I have been on the hunt for an antique bull skull to tide me over. Yesterday, I found this skull (in the photo above) at the Fremont Market which is a Sunday market here in Seattle that happens throughout the year, and I am SO excited! This bad boy is going in my studio so I can stare at it all day while I work. I basically need nothing else in the entire world now I think. I've got my love, my home, my studio, my work, my family, and a bull skull. Life is complete. What more do I need? Ok, maybe I need a puppy then my life will be complete :)
How do you feel about animals? Are you vegetarian or a hunter? Do you have any skull or antler collections? Cats or Dogs?