• Angela Singer

In Animalia portraits, the animal is often symbolic; in Who What Was, Singer does not look to represent the lost or sacrificial lamb, nor the supernatural woodland goddess doe. Recycling vintage taxidermy with old and new mixed media, she creates a new way of seeing the animal.

Since the mid-1990s, the vintage taxidermy she uses in her work is not chosen for its aesthetic but for the stories she gathers of the animal’s life and death.

The fluorescent clay covered deer head of Deathflash I, 2021 glows electric green in the dark, like a fever dream memory of a once living fatally wounded fawn lying in the dusk and shadow of a vibrant green forest. The fluorescence slowly fades like a deathflash; the strong burst of radiation all living organisms emit when they die, the intensity and duration of which is linked to rate of dying.

Vintage crystals, pearls, and the artist's hand sculpted white porcelain leaves create a richly jewelled floral snow that encrusts and surrounds a vintage taxidermy white lamb head in Under the White (Schenck), 2021. Singer tells a chilly tale of the cold that snapped the life out of the lamb; falling into the snow covered leaves beneath its feet.

When Singer worked in Melbourne near the NGV, her lunchtime visits to the ewe protecting her dead lamb in the snow painting Anguish by August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck took her back to her Hawke’s Bay childhood of winter paddocks scattered with mounds of glittering, sparkling, icy dead lambs.

Whether Singer adorns vintage taxidermy with found materials, or sculpts and covers it with mixed media, she creates something that questions the space between human and animal, that feels familiar yet unfamiliar, natural and unnatural, and absent yet very present.

Opening Hours

  • Thursday 27th and Friday 28th, 11am - 5pm
  • Saturday 29th, 11am - 8.30pm
  • Sunday 30th, 12pm - 4pm


  • 241 Cuba Street
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington