Medium
Image rights
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Ilene Gutman; © Polly Morgan; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Polly Morgan employs the language of the macabre and makes taxidermy sculptures that range from elegiac to eerie. In works large and small, Morgan arranges animals in both realistic and fantastical compositions. One series features snakes twisted into elegant, almost unrecognizable knots; when placed on pedestals, the snakes look like three-dimensional infinity symbols or totems for nature’s virility. In another body of work, Morgan pays homage to the exquisite beauty and delicacy of birds. Miniature baroque chandeliers hang under bell jars and light the tiny, perfectly arranged bodies of blue tits and baby chicks. Diverging from the scientific realism of Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde animal sculptures, Morgan employs abstraction and romanticism to communicate stories about her once-living subjects.

Selected exhibitions
2019
Are They All YoursHix Art
2017
RevivalNational Museum of Women in the Arts
2016
5 Years at Heddon StreetPippy Houldsworth Gallery
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Receiver, 2009

Taxidermy quail chicks and Bakelite telephone handset
9 × 2 1/2 × 3 1/2 in
22.9 × 6.4 × 8.9 cm
Location
Washington
Medium
Image rights
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Ilene Gutman; © Polly Morgan; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Polly Morgan employs the language of the macabre and makes taxidermy sculptures that range from elegiac to eerie. In works large and small, Morgan arranges animals in both realistic and fantastical compositions. One series features snakes twisted into elegant, almost unrecognizable knots; when placed on pedestals, the snakes look like three-dimensional infinity symbols or totems for nature’s virility. In another body of work, Morgan pays homage to the exquisite beauty and delicacy of birds. Miniature baroque chandeliers hang under bell jars and light the tiny, perfectly arranged bodies of blue tits and baby chicks. Diverging from the scientific realism of Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde animal sculptures, Morgan employs abstraction and romanticism to communicate stories about her once-living subjects.

Selected exhibitions (3)
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