‘Stuffed’ is an ongoing series of portrait style studies of birds by British artist Jacqueline Hammond. The artworks depict birds that have been captured and immortalised in the glass cabinets on exhibition in national museums. This series began when the artist visited Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, where friends remarked the animals must have been there since they were children which inspired the artist to capture the expression and character of these birds on canvas, frozen in time.
The series continues an appreciation of birds both as creatures and as a motif for the artist. Birds feature in other works such as Brighton Tidal Sunsets which depicts the murmuration of starlings around Brighton Pier.
An observational interest in birds has led to paying more attention to the stuffed bird collection than the other animals when visiting museums.
The dusty museum exhibits have been there for years, decades have passed and its stuffed inmates are sitting there, immortalized, posed, constantly objectified, gawped at in glass cabinets. The derogatory terms used to describe women are akin to the way describe birds, on display, fanning their feathers to attract opposite sex…
The exhibits, birds, using metaphorically to point out how they mimic the stereotypical terms used to describe women. Stereotyping, sexism is everywhere, seemingly light hearted, but derogatory, demeaning nonetheless. So lets feed the birds with pastiche, a parody on femininity – See the character in that pose, taxidermy objectifies the dead creature, decide how to preserve it’s form, represent the species, where goes the gaze?
Think of representations of women in print media, fashion, magazines etc… Why stuffed in that pose? The gaze, the glass case reflection of being looked at for decades. Forever dead. Someone thought how that bird should be stuffed? Pretty little thing, all wide eyed and legs akimbo! Shaking your tail feather! Cock of the North!’