Saturday September 20, 2014

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Taxidermy is an art form

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Mackenzie Hientz

Cassandra Bird holds a fur badger as she speaks about taxidermy at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum on July 10.

The Estevan Art Gallery and Museum recently opened the exhibit Heads and Tails: A Little Menagerie, which showcases taxidermy, on its project wall.

Cassandra Bird talked about how taxidermy is an art form during a reception on July 10. Bird recently got into taxidermy in January through her business Bird’s Eye Taxidermy.

She expressed that taxidermy relates to art, as it is taking something and making it look real.

“So it’s an art in trying to bring something back to life after it no longer has a heartbeat,” Bird said.

Bird got into taxidermy because of her life-long interest in animals.

“I’ve always loved animals and I’ve always loved going to museums, and my fondest memories are in the museums, seeing those animals in their natural habitat,” she said. “Imagine if I could do something like that, and bring something so beautiful and so majestic back so people could see it up close."

During the presentation, Bird had two different types of badgers that she “brought back to life.” They were a fur badger and a hair badger.

Since Bird has just started, most of the animals that she works on are road kill.

“We’ve stopped many times on many trips to pick up our little buddies," she said. “Most of the specimens I have right now have been road kill, but I also get some from other taxidermists.

“It’s one of those things were you learn and adapt with the animal.”

The taxidermist adapts to the hide and the animal itself, and they don’t want to waste the animal.

“You want to use it to its full extant to show someone the beauty,” said Bird. “It’s my favorite artistry because I get to bring something back to life and give it a second chance.”

The Head and Tails exhibit started on July 4 and will conclude August 16.

 

 


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