Fantastical, fake animals by Troy Emery
Troy Emery is an artist based in Melbourne and has an object based sculptural practice. Emery creates suites of artworks where dislocated animal forms are brought together as a collection through a uniform approach in their construction and materials.
His work is about how the history of our relationship with animals is underpinned by our ability to give meaning to them and use them in allegory and metaphors. A tension between decoration and representation is present when looking at animals. They are not only living creatures: animals can be seen as decorative objects.
Emery refers to his sculptures as ‘fake taxidermy’ because they mimic the process of taxidermy without actually producing a real result. The particular animals he chooses to work with fall between being exotic and easily recognisable.
The colours of his animals are like those of exotically coloured birds of paradise prized for the vibrancy of their feathers. Some of the animal’s poses and statures seem aggressive, contradicting their soft, colourful costumes – just as in nature where many soft, cuddly animals can be quite unpleasant up-close.
Emery’s animal sculptures are impossible combinations of form, colour, and materials. They can only exist as hypothetical or mythological animals. What fascinates Emery about these areas of investigation is that there is, especially historically, a place for fantastical, fake animals.
Images courtesy of Troy Emery