Creative Taxidermy In Mayfair

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 39 months ago
Creative Taxidermy In Mayfair ★★★☆☆ 3
These two cockerels fighting is a scarily lifelike freeze frame. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
These two cockerels fighting is a scarily lifelike freeze frame. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
These insects won't be relegated to being anatomical specimens and are making their escape. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
These insects won't be relegated to being anatomical specimens and are making their escape. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
With nothing inside the cage it does beg the question: What all these squirrels are after. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
With nothing inside the cage it does beg the question: What all these squirrels are after. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
This iguana is going all the way to the top. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
This iguana is going all the way to the top. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
A pseudo shrine to birds. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
A pseudo shrine to birds. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
If you have a fear of snakes, then welcome to your worst nightmare. A wreath made up an anaconda, a cobra, a python and a black mamba. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern
If you have a fear of snakes, then welcome to your worst nightmare. A wreath made up an anaconda, a cobra, a python and a black mamba. Image courtesy of the artist and Shapero Modern

Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆

Taxidermy has been fashionable for the last few years, and we're big fans of the medium. London's latest exhibition of stuffed creatures is being used to launch a new gallery — Shapero Modern. It's a particularly apt show as it's set inside the building belonging to Shapero Rare Books who sell old animal prints and tomes on natural history.

This inaugural show — Natural Selection — features taxidermy by the likes of Polly Morgan, and prints such as Andy Warhol's Endangered Species set. But the star attraction is the work of Jaap Sinke and Ferry van Tongeren, who even put on demonstrations. We got to witness both a peacock and a cheetah being stuffed. While there are a number of taxidermy artists on display here, we particularly liked the style of this artist duo, who do imaginative things like weave a wreath from poisonous snakes, and position birds as if they were on display in a painting by a Dutch Master.

We were also very fond of a host of squirrels clambering all over the outside of a large cage, and two roosters frozen mid-attack — one pins the other down with its talons. And there is something almost nightmarish when insects are seen climbing out of specimen jars, as if they've risen from the dead and are making their escape.

Here is an enjoyable opening exhibition for Shapero Modern and we liked the innovative approach to taxidermy, allowing you to witness works among the books and across three floors.

Natural Selection is on at Shapero Modern, 32 St. George st, W1S 2EA until 18 December. Entrance is free.

Last Updated 28 November 2014