I am so digging this Protector photograph by Erika Masterson. It is so striking. For one, the bear is a real [preserved] bear. Two, it truly is a picture with a thousand words. It could encompass many narratives, many stories that the viewer could impose upon it.
She says, she revisits our relationship with nature in her work. She says she is attracted to the vulnerability of the human spirit and the spiritual trials we all go through which some of us know we are in and some do not. I am intrigued by the inner battle of complete submission of losing ourselves and our physical trappings to this world and gaining a new life. I am fascinated by the power and beauty of life physically and spiritually. And even when we physically leave this earth our legacy remains.
To create this work, she found several taxidermy collectors throughout the state of Florida. She then chose a simple backdrop to feature the beauty of the living models and the preserved animals. Choosing to shoot large format film captures the details of these beautiful creations without distraction. The white vintage dresses to represent the purity of the girls and also as a remembrance of the souls that wore them before. The animals have been preserved as a visual legacy.
This is her current series Parts of the Earth limited edition of 25 archival pigment print. Erika is in the Saatchi gallery She lives and works in Satellite Beach, Florida. If you dig this as much as I do, here is my link to purchase.
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