Taking taxidermy to a whole new level of strange

November 13 2013 | Guest post by Julie F.

Screen shot 2013-01-13 at 1.37.26 PMArtist Sarina Brewer describes herself as "a self-proclaimed science nerd melding her past formal art education with her passion for biology and the bizarre." And she does not disappoint. Her creations are inspiring and provocative, violent and poetic. In any case, they are definitely unique.

Brewer mostly uses dead animals to create taxidermy pieces like you've never seen before. But don't worry… none of the animals used in Brewer's work were killed for the purpose of using them in her art. All animal components are recycled. She utilizes salvaged roadkill and discarded livestock, as well as the many animal materials that are donated to her.

Her work goes from traditional taxidermy to mummification and esodermy, a new process she invented to valorize the inside parts of an animal. Her website offers a great selection jewelry, sculpture and wall art, perfect for your gothic tendencies. She also creates incredibly realistic fake pieces, like this Vulture head.

I'm deeply intrigued by her creations. In her own words, "Brewer deals with death, in what is considered by most, an unconventional manner." If anything, her work is definitely offbeat…

Rat-head necklace.
Rat-head necklace.
Miniature Mummified Mystery Hand Earrings.
Miniature Mummified Mystery Hand Earrings.
Capricorn: Constructed with a  raccoon, wild turkey, and pheasant
Capricorn: Constructed with a raccoon, wild turkey, and pheasant
She also does custom work.
She also does custom work.

If you're looking to buy a disturbing conversation piece, I'm sure Custom Creature Taxidermy Arts has something in store for you.

  1. This work is amazing, and I'm not even into the macabre. Everyone go now, and click through her galleries. The franken-animals are a sight to behold.

    2 agree
  2. Okay, I have to admit: taxidermy freaks me out. Since childhood I've had a 6th sense for when there is something taxidermied lying (or hanging) around. I've driven by houses and before we've gotten to them I've said "they have taxidermy there" and sure enough, there's a deer head hanging on the wall in the window when we pass by. It's a weird trauma response from seeing some taxidermied things a child.

    However, I have to admit, I was really, really really impressed (and not freaked out at all) by the Capricorn and the gryphon (?) at the end. That Capricorn is actually really beautiful…and while I couldn't ever imagine owning it, I might just not shudder if I walked by it in someone's house. So, good work!

    I'm even feeling brave, and may click on over to your website to see some of your other creations!

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    • So, depending on how squeemish you are, you should check out TheBrainScoop on youtube. It's a little series that teaches people about taxidermy and animal dissection, and general natural history.

      Anyway, I really like it and it's helped me overcome my slight unease with taxidermy because it's just so cool!

      http://www.youtube.com/user/thebrainscoop

      The woman who is the host actually just recently moved to Chicago to work for The Field Museum after volunteering at a local natural history museum. Anyway, seriously cool – and she warns you if there's going to be anything gross in the videos at the beginning.

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      • Maybe I'll check it out!

        For awhile I was watching some taxidermy shows on cable and liked them…though even after seeing the whole process (knowing it's foam forms, and glass eyes, and sometimes already dead roadkill, etc) I still get squeemish. I just…I dunno how to explain it…it's like "I see dead people" but with animals…and they're actually there.

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      • The Brain Scoop is AWESOME and has definitely helped me get over my squicky feelings about innards and dead things. In one episode where they were poking squishy, oozing eyeballs and I didn't have to look away, it was hard to believe I used to be someone who couldn't handle watching surgery on TV.

        1 agrees
  3. I'm sorry… but… eugh…. I have goose-bumps and creepy-crawlies… I've never really come into much contact with taxidermy (I don't think it's very popular in Australia) and that's really wigged me out…. But Hubby will probably think it's cool…

    1 agrees
    • I love her twist on this classic 80's design with a claw. And her jewelry is suprisingly affordable! Good thing Christmas is coming soon. ­čśë

      1 agrees
  4. I actually find this pretty gross and offensive. Animals aren't display objects, and doing things like this, which could be aesthetically accomplished with substitutions, just contributes to the idea that animals are things we can use and discard for our amusement. Its disresepctful and I would actually be mortified to see this anywhere in person.

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  5. Cool. I am bookmarking this because my impossible-to-buy-for best friend would LOVE this stuff.

    And…just to remark a different perspective to lilly who posted above me…my best friend is a vegetarian and I eat a vegan diet. I think my view and maybe hers might be not that this art has anything to do with animals being things to use and discard, but rather that animals are beautiful and fascinating, and a better moneument to a creature who's life has ended might be an object that can bring beauty and knowledge to someone's life rather than rotting away alone as roadkill. That's just me though…

    10 agree

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