Art Review: Polly Morgan @ All Visual Arts

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 70 months ago
Art Review: Polly Morgan @ All Visual Arts
 Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
 Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
 Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
 Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
 Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus
Installation view Endless Plains, courtesy All Visual Arts, photo: Tessa Angus

Many people will view taxidermy as a dark and disturbing art. Polly Morgan has taken it further to produce surreal and macabre tableaux often featuring mutant hybrid creatures.

The works range from drawings of nests with the appropriate dead bird lying atop the frame to a prone fox sprouting octopus tentacles.

One of the two centrepieces is a fallen tree trunk complete with birds going about their daily foraging. It's seems so life-like, until you spot the piglets suckling at the sap the tree trunk is exuding.

The lighting complements the works brilliantly by keeping the art under the spotlights and the viewer in the dark. It's like viewing the creations in a mad scientist's laboratory.

This exhibition is definitely not for the squeamish. For those who aren't put off, however, Morgan takes taxidermy in a bold and interesting direction. Some will find her art to be disturbing while others will note her sense of humour. Polly Morgan has taken a once-neglected and now resurgent art form and applied her own take to it, and it's both refreshing and exciting.

Polly Morgan: Endless Plains is on display at All Visual Arts, 2 Omega Place, N1 9DR until 31 July.

Last Updated 11 June 2012