From Song to the Subtle Art of Stuffing Dead Animals

Sophie Ellis-Bextor joins new Chiswick course

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chiswick taxidermy

An example of work by a student

Mabel Wants to Put the Stuffing Back into the Art World

Mabel Edwards


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Chiswick chanteuse Sophie Ellis Bextor is about to swap the stage for a unique kind of animal magic - as she's signed up for a class in taxidermy run by local expert Mabel Edwards. Taxidermy, or the practice of stuffing dead animals, is now in vogue with top artists.

Sophie Ellis Bextor

"Sophie Ellis-Bextor and entire family have already got tickets" says Mabel.

Fans of the songstress, famous for hits like 'Murder on the Dancefloor', need not worry. Her adventure in taxidermy is just a hobby. She has no plans to give up the day job.

Mabel's next class is on the 13th May at 7pm -11pm at Chiswick town hall meeting room. Sipsmith's gin will also be on hand to provide a stiff drink for the faint-hearted or generally to make the event more enjoyable.

Taxidermy is being taken seriously in the art world for the first time since the Victorian era with artists like David Shrigley, Polly Morgan, Damien Hirst and Tessa Farmer giving it credibility and it is now seen as 'in vogue'.

Mabel formerly worked in Mortimer & Bennet, and once created a window display of a miniature scene of 9 mice feasting on a banquet of cheese, which attracted a lot of local comment.

She says the class is structured to help students create a life-like mount of a mouse but students are free to bring any miniature props with them if they prefer the Walter Potter tradition of anthropomorphic taxidermy!

No harsh or dangerous chemicals are used during the class and all students are provided with gloves. Although there will not be a lot of blood and gore, taxidermy is not for everyone and students are asked to consider this before booking their place.

mabel edwards

Mabel Edwards

Mabel started incorporating taxidermy into her artwork from 2011 after studying fashion for a National Diploma in which she achieved a triple distinction.

She is predominantly self-taught in the practice though she adheres to all the regulations of The UK Guild Of Taxidermists which has strict rules on the sourcing and treatment of the animals used.

You can see more of Mabel's work on her Facebook page. Tickets cost £70 and more information is available on Mabel's web site.

April 2, 2015

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