Hunting trophies have somehow worked their way back into hip interior design, and Rachel Denny wants to keep the trend cruelty-free. Using sweaters, pennies, felt, and other sustainable materials, the artist crafts unique animal heads for any décor. Her latest topiary of animals will open in a solo exhibition at Foster and White Gallery in Seattle this April.
Denny explores the uses of textile materials with her fine art sculptures. By pushing the limits, she transforms materials used for knitting, crafting, and sewing into hard-edged sculptures, like her series representing dead animal heads. The juxtaposition of a soft or common material, often associated with the feminine side of things, brings on a new meaning when used to construct a symbol of masculinity: the hunting trophy. The soft plushness and spectrum of colors of the materials also transform the animals into gentle creatures, associated with childhood.
One incredible piece that will be shown at Foster/White is a horse head made from hundreds of shiny copper pennies. A mosaic of copper colors cover the horse, as the pennies vary in tone from different levels of tarnish and oxidization. The familiar Hudson Bay blanket was transformed into a bull head, bearing the historical trade stripes.
Denny also created a series of cable knit deer heads, all bearing different knits in a rainbow of colors. Sweaters are also represented in her life-sized ewe, whose wool has been returned in a coat of shredded sweaters. Denny’s barn yard of recycled sweater and common object animals transforms the mundane materials into exquisite animal sculptures full of color and texture.