encaustic statement

In recent work I have been using decoys as stand-ins for the real as I once used miniatures. The decoys are another way to think about the “real and ideal” and the relationship between human and animal. I am also interested in human expectations concerning our relationships with animals. Our imagining of animals stems partly from our cultural environment and could be linked to our imagining of self and family. There is a longing to know our selves through animals. Animals make us more human.

 I have also always been interested in the metaphorical implications of simulation and mimesis. The decoys are life-sized, meant to mimic nature and often used in hunting to lure in or get closer to wild animals. I have been thinking a lot about how humans long to be closer to nature and continually return to it as a place of rejuvenation as we become increasingly detached from the natural world. Yet actual closeness with wild animals is difficult or nearly impossible to achieve except in captivity. I use the decoys as metaphors for my own feelings of detachment from family, nature, memory and my own natural roots and my desire to feel connected.

 The photograph is used to achieve the distance necessary in communicating difficult emotions. The natural alchemical substance of the beeswax seems a fitting contrast to the digitalized process, again making note of stark contrasts between the natural and manmade world and general emotional disconnection. The decoys or miniatures act as a replacement not only for the childhood ideal memory but transcends that particular moment to stand for other instances. These methods of working with the miniature, decoy and photography allowed me to distance myself, yet at the same time create an idealized nearby place for my longing.   

kendrabulgrin@mac.com © Kendra Bulgrin 2012