Still Life Aviary
Project info

Through scientific knowledge and acute observation, precise sculptural artistry and theatrical intuition, the taxidermist aims to achieve the illusion of life through the remains of death. But it is hard to view taxidermy without any qualms. Even as Lynn Savarese thrilled at the much more intimate encounter with a specimen than would have been possible were it still alive, she also found it disturbing. Although enthralled by the enigmatic beauty and character of the aviary specimens featured in her photographs, she has never lost sight of man's hubris in turning these animals into replicas of themselves and the irony inherent in striving to achieve a kind of immortality for them by killing them. Doubly ironic, however, is that she has also never felt more deeply the wonder and beauty of our animal kin than in her close-up encounters with these mounted birds.

Specimens that have been abandoned before their completion and remain bound in string and pins, or that have fallen into disrepair, are especially heartrending. Seeing their heads or wings wobbling from their wire supports, their glass eyes dulled or cracked, their feathers coated with arsenic powder...Savarese felt as if she were witnessing their second death.