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Emily Valentine - "Feathers are my paint"

Events > Exhibitions

Emily Valentine
at Zimmerman Art Gallery
31 Aug 2013 - 29 Sep 2013

Added by Zimmerman

This month ZIMMERMAN introduces the feathered works of Emily Valentine, a Wellington born artist now based in Sydney.

“My work shows sympathy with the bird’s previous life and creates a new life form. I wish to stimulate the viewer with the uncomfortable nature of the feather, to question our callous treatment of animals and birds, and ask how we subconsciously classify animals – pet or pest, valued or worthless, beautiful or plain, and why."

Figurines of favoured pets are transformed into impossibly feathered creatures, simultaneously endearing and unsettling in their combination of the familiar and the unexpected.

The imploring "Quotty Cat" is meticulously adorned with quail feathers, while the canine "Croxer" sports a glossy coat made from the plumes of crows, roosters and cockatoos.

Valentine’s bird-dogs have been described as a “cross-pollination of man’s best friend and man’s best envy – an ability to fly.” In similar vein, Valentine’s catty-birds may be viewed as a fanciful fusion of hunter and hunted, the feline predator seeking disguise in the plumage of its prey.

Some of the feathers Valentine uses are commercially sourced, often dyed in unnaturally brilliant hues. Others are more organically collected, salvaged from birds who have met untimely ends.

Valentine’s fascination with feathers evolved during the artist’s early career as a costume maker and jeweller. Jewellery items continue to feature strongly amongst the artist’s works, including a series of winged lizard brooches and necklaces on display at ZIMMERMAN.

Emily Valentine holds a Bachelor of Arts (visual, majoring in jewellery and object design) from the Sydney College of Arts. Valentine’s work has been exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia, and is included in the collections of the National Library of Australia, the Northern Territory Art Gallery, Sarjeant Gallery in Wanganui and the World-of-Wearable-Art Museum in Nelson. In 2010, Valentine was artist-in-residence at Tylee Cottage, Wanganui.

croxer_2 2013_brooch_1a 2013_brooch_2 2013_brooch_3

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