For several years, I have been working on Menagerie Recovery, a historical fiction project featuring mixed media cast paper and bronze animal sculptures. Inspired by the tradition of the traveling menagerie - collections of exotic animals displayed throughout Europe and the United States in the 17th to early 20th centuries - each of my menageries is connected to a specific historical figure, with the animals representing aspects of that person’s accomplishments and significance. Presented as recently recovered, rare and endangered species, the animals are remnants of the bygone era that predated the modern zoological garden. They are small and intimate, based more on memory than on observation, and possessed of a haunting presence that is at times almost human.
Paintings, prints, an artist book, and textual histories document both the animals’ imaginary worlds, and their recent recovery from neglect and/or natural misfortune.