If you ever saw the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers there was a great little horror moment towards the end when an old hobo and his constant dog companion appear to have been copied as one creature by the alien pods. The old hobo's head stares up from the little dog's body for a very brief moment but it is a powerful jolt. Kate Clark takes that same simple recipe and keeps the jolt alive with a sustained note of unnerving dissonance. Throughout history and human culture, people have been fascinated by the idea of this sort of human animal mash-up, from ancient Egyptian, Indian and other mythologies to more modern cautionary tales like H. G. Wells' "The Island Dr. Moreau". Ms. Clark's use of real taxidermy, and the implied reality of the faces complete with seams and stitches imbue these mythical creations with an ominous presence. At the same time she is able to imbue in their expressions a note of innocence, a fine trick that hangs the whole thing in a delicate balance of discomfort and appeal.
You can see more on her website: www.kateclark.com
and through her gallery: www.claireoliver.com
Untitled (Black bear) bear hide, foam, clay, pins, thread, rubbereyes 27" x 42" x 16" 2008
"Little Girl" infant caribou hide, foam, clay, pins, thread, rubber eyes 15" x 28" x 19" 2008
"Lit From Within" Gazelle hide, foam, clay, pins, thread, rubber eye, cardboard, wood (lifesize) 2009
Installation view of 'Perfect Strangers'
solo exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery, Nov 2008