Alterations or Aberrations


Major work for Deakin's third year photography unit, New Worlds: Intersections of Art and Science (ACI303).

"In this unit art and science are brought together to make New Worlds. The emphasis is on lens-based technology as both scientific instrument and artistic medium. The course will examine the methodologies that construct the worldviews of science and art, and means by which scientific methods can be used for artistic purpose and vice-versa. Pseudo-science, scientific hoaxes, and science fiction and its mythologies are also subject to investigation and creation."

The photographic series investigates the potential results of genetically engineered animals, exploring the ethics of creating new creatures. There could be unintentional consequences that result from excessive genetic modification in animals such as long term side effects on the environment. The animal sculptures I created include a peacock, pheasant and eagle hybrid and another bird that was sculpted with no initial reference but resembles a goose, toucan, flamingo chimera in a striking bright red colour.

The sculptures were made by sculpting polystyrene and inserting metal rods for legs. Wire was then wrapped around the metal rods to create the bird feet shape which was then covered and shaped with epoxy putty for both strength and realism. I used acrylic paint to colour the feet and beaks and then each feather was individually glued on. The success of the photographs relied on the realism of the sculptures and I'm pleased with the end result and how believable they look.