Tessa Farmer Art Assignment

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Kali Koncurat.

The artwork being discussed will be The Resurrection of the rat created in 2008 by Tessa Farmer. It shows “the fairies captured, Killed and ate the rat’s flesh before reworking its bone structure to create a multipurpose piece of architecture. There is a caged area’s for experimentation and torture” stated by Tessa Farmer. It is a very interesting piece of artwork.

The Resurrection of the rat shows the decomposing carcass of a mangled rat. There are also other animals intertwined into the body of the rat. There is the body of a mouse attached to the skeletal tail of the rat. There is some type of bugs or insects suspended in and around the main body of the rat. There are many different things going on in the sculpture there are lots of little fairies that appear to be torturing the other animals. Other creatures have made a habitat in the body of the rat. The fairylike creatures also have a bug like appearance. The sculpture uses a variety of textures and forms to achieve a quite confronting sculpture. By using actual an actual animal carcass she has captured the essence of the decomposing life form. By using plant roots and leaves to form the fairylike creatures she has managed to make them as real in appearance as the actual dead rat. At first glance you only really see the dead animal but by opening up the body of the rat to incorporate the “architecture” they are building it only becomes apparent to the viewer upon closer inspection. By also suspending bugs and creatures mid air in the glass enclosure the viewer gets the impression of flies buzzing around the rotting carcass however you then realise they are actual fairylike things. As everything used in the sculpture is from nature it all ties together and then the starkness of the white surrounds in the sterile glass box gives it a more shocking appearance. My interpretation of this piece of art is that it is possibly a statement about both the natural world combined with the artist’s fantasy world. How the use of what in our minds it would be a unusable road kill carcass could in the fantasy world become an inhabitable architectural creation that these mythical fairylike creatures have built. The fact that these creatures then have an almost cruel and vicious dimension to them, in the way they appear to be torturing the other creatures, is quite disturbing. The sculpture is set out differently than others with the bugs and other insects being suspended by fishing wire so that it looks like they are flying. It’s set out very busy with lots of different things happening mostly around the animal carcass and then more spaced out in the more outer space. The majority of the sculpture is low and centrally located with smaller pieces scattered out and upwards. It makes the viewer look down into the animal carcass. All of the colours used are quite natural earthy tones with a slight tinge of blue from what looks like a beetle inside the body of the rat. This small use of colour draws the viewers gaze into the actual body of the dead animal. It creates a focal point. This sculpture is not overly appealing to me but it is very interesting how Tessa created these sculptures from such different things compared to other artists. I think that Farmer created this artwork because she was intrigued by The Natural World mostly its more revolting aspect and how that natural world can then be intertwined with the mythical creatures from some fantasy aspect of her mind. It could possibly be a statement about how in the natural world there is no unusable “rubbish”. How everything, even a dead animal, can be of use to other creatures or the environment. Where as in the human world we create so much unusable and unrecyclable rubbish. It is quite amazing that something as revolting as road kill can be seen and then used as a canvas for an artist to create a piece of sculpture from.


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