'Foul Language'


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This papier mâché turkey, the text on her body cut from recipe books gleefully demonstrating how to “prepare” the bodies of turkeys in order to eat their flesh, has taken me about six weeks to complete. In that time around 166 million turkeys have had their lives taken globally.


Those numbers mean nothing to us, yet if each individual killed had a given name, and if I were to start reciting them all, it would take me months. By which time millions more would have been killed. They are all sentient, they are all subjects of a LIFE, and they do not want to give that life up any more than we do ours.


This sculpture was designed to be viewed in a space, three dimensionally. To be closely examined, for her audience to connect with her essence and bear witness to this foul language by walking all around her, absorbing the true horror. I intend for her sweet face and curious stance to draw you in, then for her words to make you wince, to make you think, and feel. For now, as I write in this time of pandemic-induced social distancing, she will have to be viewed on our only modes of communication, those flat screens which bring us all our art and information, as a whole planet full of humans live suspended in a state enforced upon us, ironically, due to our use of other animals as commodities.


The act of using other animals as food commodities is one of the most violent occurrences in our every day lives, yet that violence lies hidden, even normalised, by the language we intentionally decided to use thousands of years ago in order to distance ourselves from it. So while the act is violent, some words we use to describe that act have been tweaked to create a barrier between our sensitivity, or some may say our guilt, and the truth.  The most used is of course the term “meat”, which we chose to rename the flesh of others so we did not have to deal with the immorality of breeding, incarcerating and killing them.


Surprisingly, a lot of the language we use in the transformation of a living being to an inanimate object, nothing more than an ingredient, remains unchanged and reflects perfectly that violent truth. Everyone knows that we “slaughter” animals, and most of us kid ourselves that it surely must be quick and painless, even though if used in any context other than killing animals for food the word is understood to be violent without exception. Every cookbook and every online recipe which uses an animal has this brutal language right there on every page for all to read.



So to “chop” her flesh into pieces, to “dice” and “slice” and “mince” parts of her, to “hang (her) head downward” after killing her and then “cut off the head” and “pierce with a skewer”, in a different context may give us nightmares. The tools of this work, the cleavers, mincers and grinders, boning and skinning knives, hacksaws, 'meat' hooks, 'meat' hammers, slicers and dicers, are the torturer's arsenal which makes us recoil in disgust and terror when viewed as a horror movie image. Yet when applied to these animals, who we have separated from the consideration of pain and suffering and the concept of right to freedom from oppression, such words now become fine and normal to use. We see nothing despicable in their use relating to the bodies of others who we have chosen to call “food”. We have become deadened to the violence in our words and our actions, to the horror in text from a seemingly innocent recipe book.

The Universal Pig

'The Seven Billion'

This triptych of dioramas is a tribute to the estimated 7 billion male chicks killed every year worldwide, at one day old, because they were born the wrong gender to lay eggs. It also stands as a tribute to the females whose suffering remains unseen, while they merely exist as egg producing machines, so we can use those eggs as a food source we do not even need.

'Christmas Presence'

Turkeys. If you've never met one you are missing out. Their dignified presence leaves you in no doubt that you are in the company of another person, an equal who deserves your respect. As they meet your gaze, you know this is someone who is vibrant with life, someone who connects with you and all the world around them. They are affectionate and companionable, intelligent and independent, enjoying a zest for life as all living beings do.

These faces were witnessed entering a Bernard Matthews killing factory in Norfolk on December 11th. At just weeks old, they never had a chance at life. Their beautiful eyes, once so inquisitive and intense with a verve to survive, were brutally rendered lifeless that day. Their headless corpses lie, plastic wrapped, in a freezer. In the UK alone 15 million individuals are killed each year.

Why do we feel that in order to truly celebrate any occasion, we require the presence of dead bodies on our tables? Corpses. If their eyes met ours across that table could we honestly take their life and render them an object?


These two paper lanterns were created for an exhibition in Orlando, Florida in Spring of 2021.  Titled 'Love and Loss Across Species Lines: The Neuroscience of Attachment' and curated by the artist Linda Brant, this element of the exhibition was titled 'The All Species Memorial'.  In Linda's words - "The All Species Memorial Project will be presented as part of this exhibition! Since March of 2020, paper lantern sleeves have been mailed to people all over the world, who have decorated them in honor of animals they love. Look closely and you will see lanterns for companion animals, endangered animals, hunted animals, factory farmed animals, laboratory animals, and more. What an amazing expression of love across species lines!"

A Tribute To Kate

A Tribute to All the Pigs

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