Dutch Artist Takes Taxidermy to a Whole New Level of Creepiness

28-year-old Noortje Zijlstra is a part of a new group of Dutch artists who are gaining recognition for their fusion of taxidermy and art. Noortje, in particular, takes the macabre practice of taxidermy to the next level – some of her pieces include a white dove’s head mounted on a shuttlecock,  a stuffed squirrel standing on its hind legs with a test tube in its throat serving as a flower holder, and a single preserved baby chicken leg mounted on a wooden stand, covered in fluffy white feathers. Her studio is also home to a family of mice with their hides replaced by decorative colored sugar.

“My work fuses taxidermy and art, sometimes creating work that may shock or even revolt, but I hope it serves as a catalyst for conversation,” she said. Her latest work involves a frozen crow carcass; she’s not yet sure what it’s going to become, but she hopes that the final piece gets people talking. During an interview with AFP, she demonstrated how she cuts into the bird’s breastbone before removing its insides. “This is what I do,” she said. “I take its ‘jacket’ off and use it as a medium for art. As soon as that happens, it ceases to be a dead animal.”


“Food often features in my art,” said Noortje, a vegetarian. “I use dead animals because I want people to think about what they put into their mouths. My art has a lot to do with the concept that you are what you eat.”


Noortje’s art is due to go on display at the Rotterdam Festival of Contemporary Art this year. Her previous work has extremely well received, both by critics and fellow Dutch taxidermy artists like Jaap Sinke and Ferry van Tongeren. “Taxidermy as art is definitely making a comeback,” Sinke told AFP, adding that a single piece of work can fetch anywhere between $3,000 and $30,0000!








Photos: Noortje Zijlstra

via AFP

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