Above: Vex, 2008. Pigeon feathers, polystyrene, felt, glue, museum cabinet. 183 x 110 x 61 cm

The twisted form of a serpent-like creature lies enclosed in an airless glass cabinet, a diverting object for museum display. Instead of the usual taxidermist’s presentation of a perfectly preserved specimen complete with beady-eyed head, this animal appears to be headless, as if it’s been gagged. This feathered hybrid defies the naturalist’s attempts at categorisation; half bird, half snake, it lies somewhere between a creature of myth, an extinct beast and a corporeal representation of the angst-ridden contortions of the human subconscious. Is this creature dead, as the vitrine implies, or suspended, like some eternally hibernating beast, between two states?

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