YOU see these animals from a distance at the zoo, but it is not until you see a lion propped up on a bed that you realise how big they are.
Big is an understatement, according to 12-year-old Alli Maloney.
The lion’s paw is bigger than a grown man’s hand.
A hyena’s facial expression, mid-attack, is frightening.
They’re huge and scary, but you have to see them for yourself.
Alli said the exhibition Wunderkammer by Rod McRae was amazing, but confronting.
The exhibition at Orange Regional Gallery brings together 16 installations from Mr McRae’s Tent of Wonders.
Each installation explores issues regarding the environment, biodiversity, pollution, stewardship, climate change and animal/human relations.
The principle medium in all the installations is real animal skins, ethically sourced from South Africa, South America and the USA.
“It’s just a big shock really,” Ali said.
“The way they have positioned them makes you think about the Earth and about animals.”
Alli’s sister Karly said as she looked at the lion rolling on the bed she kept thinking it would jump right out at her.
“The size of it is surprising,” she said.
“It’s huge and its paws are massive.”
The gallery’s Sally Watson said the exhibition could be one of the gallery’s most popular.
She said adults and children alike have come out shocked, but in awe.
“It is very powerful and confronting,” she said.
Ms Watson says groups of children have floated about the gallery and met up in groups to discuss what they have seen. A few have come out a little upset but the majority have enjoyed the installations and appreciated the message behind them, she said.
The gallery is open today from noon to 4pm.
The exhibition will finish October 13.