CLIMATE fatigue has prompted the creation of a graphic and confronting new exhibition to open at Orange Regional Gallery tomorrow night.
Sydney artist Rod McRae’s Wunderkammer exhibition features real animal skins (taxidermy) in poses and situations that you would not usually see in the wild or a museum.
He said he hoped the exhibition would challenge people and their perceptions of human impact on the natural environment.
“It’s the best way of engaging people, it gives the greatest examples,” he said.
“It’s self-accusing ... how else are we going to get people to really engage?”
Mr McRae said the skins featured in the exhibition were all “ethically sourced” and purchased second-hand or as deceased animals that were once held captive.
Taking centre stage in the exhibition is his Born Free artwork of a huge lion laying on its back on a bed.
Mr McRae said it was the type of pose you would usually see from a kitten that wanted its belly rubbed.
“This is not a trophy, the hunter is not going to kill this,” he said.
Another artwork is a zebra enclosed in a box with guns and the costs of hunting on a blackboard alongside.
“Zebras are quite inquisitive, they’ll come back to see what the commotion is about [after the initial shot by a hunter],” he said.
“The question is where is the sportsmanship in this?”
Gallery director Alan Sisley said the exhibition was a comment on society and ecology.
“McRae’s work is incredibly poignant and thought provoking about the fate of wild animals and animals like ourselves,” he said.
Wunderkammer opens with a floor talk at 5.30pm tomorrow night at Orange Regional Gallery before the official opening at 6pm.
The free exhibition will run to Sunday, October 13.