Chloe Bowman’s work examines the duality of our relationship with nature, in particular birds. Using elements of contemporary taxidermy and Ikebana (Japanese floristry), her The Avian Knot series features birds suspended in ropes, with flowers delicately woven through.
The allure of the domesticated and captive animal is that there is beauty to be found in its artificial environment, if you choose not to look too closely. The birds shown are all in an intermediate stage of taxidermy; they hang in the balance of not quite being one thing or another. Stunted in their movement they are like material, which can be pushed and pulled at will. The questions raised in this series ask the viewer to think critically about the authenticity of the relationships they have with animals.
The body of work shown in this series is a combination of bird species. The pairing of these birds aims to highlight their unique beauty in a way that elevates all species to the same aesthetic gaze. While some birds are considered vermin, others are exoticised, and yet they are all simply birds.
Bowman’s series Bunny Kinbaku derives from the Japanese style of bondage, Kinbaku meaning “tight binding”. It involves tying a person up using simple yet visually intricate patterns usually with several thin pieces of rope.
The images shown are from the series The Avian Knot III, The Avian Knot II, The Avian Knot and Bunny Kinbaku.