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Modern Memento Mori: Art by Julie Dives

A sculpture of a taxidermy fox headFeathered Fox, faux taxidermy fabrication with chicken feathers

Mixed media artist Julie Dives creates modern memento mori that combine modern sculpture and illustration with trophies of bygone centuries. Animals of all sorts are a common motif that runs through Julie’s portfolio website.


A faux taxidermy of a bear's headFeathered Bear, faux taxidermy fabrication with goose and chicken feathers


I really love the artist’s recent work in her Mementos series. Referencing hunting trophies, the artist creates convincing approximations of taxidermy animal heads – like foxes and bears – using various materials. Perhaps most interestingly, Julie forgoes the use of fur, instead creating each animal’s coat out of colored feathers. The resulting “trophies” are slightly off-kilter, uncanny valley approximations of the animals in question, realistic enough to force a closer examination.


A screen capture of the front page of Julie Dives'


Julie also works in wo-dimensional media such as printmaking and drawing. In these works, she tends to layer images of different objects, like Victorian medical illustrations and implements, or line-heavy drawings of birds and bones. Each image is a perfect blend of macabre and elegant.


A print of a crow sitting on a boneCrow, etching with hand drawing


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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