Daphne Wright’s Morbid Animal Sculptures

Daphne Wright is known for her unsettling yet poignant sculptural installations which use a variety of techniques and materials including photography, plaster, tinfoil, sound, voice and video. She has also worked on larger scale public art projects, collaborating with artists across disciplines; architects, writers and theater professionals to create works which deal with the indescribable.

Stallion (pictured above) is a full size cast of a dead horse. Lying upturned in the gallery space the power and strength of the horse seems to have collapsed with the fall of the animal on the gallery floor. At first sight the composition brings to mind a horse rolling in grass yet, on closer inspection we see the skin of the body has been peeled back revealing sinuous tendons and raw flesh. The familiarity of the animal and its playful association slides into an anatomical study colored by identifiable emotions.

Equally complex in its layering of suggested meaning is another animal cast – the delicate body of a rhesus monkey. Cast at a Primate Research Center Wright’s monkey is sensitively displayed lying on its side. The cast holds the body, permanently capturing the flesh in solid form. Covered in a fine layer of embroidered ‘hair’ its face, hands and chest recall the living animal yet the needlework gives a strangeness to the small figure. The face of the animal has been colored by a painter of religious statues, giving the monkey a touch of the other worldly.