I’ve been writing for Aesthetica for a while and have to come up with entries on a twice-monthly basis, so when the manfriend told me about Reid Peppard (one of his CSM contemporaries) I just had to get in touch!
Reid makes ethically sound taxidermy artworks and jewellery: producing uncanny pieces featuring real creatures under her own name, and intricate metal castings for her jewellery label, RP/Encore.
I was most interested in her work as she is not just a sheep, one of the fashionistas who cottoned onto this sort of morbid movement, but has actually been reworking little lifeless bodies for six years – with stuffed animals at university before learning the craft under a master taxidermist in Yorkshire.
Her work includes crow clutches, squirrel jaw bracelets, rabbit heart pendants and double rat headdresses (one of which you can see atop the head of Lady Gaga in her Bad Romance video, couldn’t resist the name-drop).
Reid has recently moved to LA, and moved on to a whole new menagerie of animals; my interview with the artist explores the motivation for her practice and plans for the future.
London-based Gisele Ganne isn’t in the business of wedding and engagement rings, christening bracelets and all that i-love-you-so-much-schnookums rubbish – nope, divorce rings and mourning jewellery are far more her style. Ganna cites “memento more” (or “remember your mortality” for those of us who didn’t study Latin) as her primary inspiration and her pieces salute the slighty more sombre chapters of life.
The macabre and especially taxidermy are everywhere at the moment, soon we will be sick of it, but for now I’m still slightly captivated by these tiny bird skulls cast in gold – there’s something pleasing about preserving a beautiful part of nature which would otherwise just decay. A little grim possibly, but hey, memento mori…
Ganne’s divorce ring range (above) are apparently made for women to stick on their ring fingers after a bad break up to tell that ex that they don’t need them no more! Or possibly to stop that poor bare finger feeling quite so naked…
It’s an acquired taste, garish to some maybe but also quite fetishistic – that alluring mix of candy coloured flowers and cold, organic bones.
These divorce knuckledusters are not just cast from bird skulls, instead each ring actually contains a raven or magpie skull which has been electroformed or coated in gold. Although not commemorative to death itself, these knuckledusters and rings signify the death of a relationship, hence the morbid imagery.
As well as mourning jewellery, Ganne also makes other pieces with no instructive use however all of her pieces use taxidermy or the skeleton in some way. Seeing as I’m not entitled to a divorce ring (and not about to set up a shot-gun wedding) I think I’d settle for this necklace below – and it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “oh look at my crow’s feet!”
Apologies for the bad joke. It was irresistible.
Gisele Ganne is on the net and stocked in London by Beyond The Valley, Johnny Rocket and Guts For Garters.
Filed under art, jewellery