Louise Weaver, Phoenix, Indian blue peacock (Pavo Cristatus), 2008–09
Louise Weaver’s painstakingly crafted sculptures re-imagine taxidermy models in decorative ‘skins’; these skins, or extravagant costumes, are created using crochet, appliqué and weaving. This process of fantastic reinvention illustrates Weaver’s ongoing interest in distinctions made between the artificial and the natural, the ephemeral and the imperishable, the beautiful and the bizarre. In Phoenix, Indian Blue Peacock, Weaver amplifies these contrasts to the extreme. The bird, which has already been transformed once into a decorative object via taxidermy, now wears a dazzling technicolour dream coat of the artist’s construction. Weaver here highlights a very human interest in the transformation of the self.