The Art of Death: The Auckland art exhibition in an old mansion filled with dead animals

For most people, death is a difficult topic to contemplate. What, if anything lies beyond it is perhaps the biggest mystery mankind will ever face. 

The Art of Death is an exhibition running at Auckland's Highwic house until the end of October. It features the work of seven female artists spanning a variety of mediums, all addressing the central theme of mortality. One such medium is taxidermy.

Painter, sculptor and taxidermist Karley Feaver, one of two taxidermists exhibiting at Highwic, says there has been a recent resurgence in the Victorian art form especially among female artists but with updated sentiment. Gone are the traditional characteristics of brutish masculinity on display, in exchange for themes of wildlife conservation and awareness. 

"It's not everyone's cup of tea," says Karley when asked how people respond to her work. 

dead dog
"It's not everyone's cup of tea," says Karley. Photo credit: Newshub.

"Some people do get a bit weirded out about having a dead animal around. I don't think [death] is really a topic that people tend to have a dinner conversation about", she laughs.

Watch the video for the full interview and to check out some of the work on exhibit at The Art of Death.