Métis artist David Hannan works with taxidermy-form sculptures to explore aspects of union, adaptation and metamorphosis.Hannan‘s taxidermy hybrids present tension and beauty in the merging of animals into sculptures. Many of the themes in Hannan’s art derive from his Aboriginal heritage, particularly his engagement with history, and notions of territory. His work uses taxidermy forms to make transformational sculptures that evoke emotional responses of fear, endearment and aggression. Traditionally, taxidermy forms have been used as the basis of a hunter’s trophy, where the skin of an animal is stretched over the form to be preserved. In Hannan’s work however, instead of using animal skin, he uses packing tape to wrap and produce new species.
For Gallery 101, Hannan creates an installation of life-sized deer and coyote sculptures that are suspended, resembling a twisted merry go-round. References to skin/body, vessel/content, are brought into play as the light seeps through the transparency of the tape, creating a glow of light that pierces through and elevates their simple materiality. This installation in many ways deals with death and transcendence as the forms hang, like empty vessels for beings that once were.
Excerpt from ALL creatures 2006 Jessie Lacayo, Curator