Kate Puxley was born in Edmonton, Alberta and has since lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Rome and Montreal. After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at Concordia University in 2005, she extended her practice beyond the palette and became a certified taxidermist. She specializes in large charcoal drawings and ethical taxidermy, using ‘found animals,’ predominantly road kill.
Puxley has apprenticed with taxidermists in Canada, the UK, Austria and Italy.
In 2011 she was invited to create a subversive diorama at The Museum of Zoology in Rome, Italy and in 2016 presented her on-going installation, Trans-Canada at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Ontario.
She is currently an MFA candidate at Concordia University.
La Danse Macabre, also called The Dance of Death, is a medieval allegory on the universality of death; no matter one’s station in life, The Dance of Death unites us all.
In my large-scale charcoal drawings, I lift road kill from their asphalt settings and place them vertically on a white background. Fixed in their final physical state, the animals transcend the ignominy of their resting place. They often appear to be halfway between life and death, sometimes even dancing or in a state of ecstasy.
This struggle between life and death is used to question and re-invigorate the serene domestic role animals play in urban environments as well as challenge viewers’ sense of their own humanity. By confronting tendencies of animalistic expression and mortality, viewers may more comfortably align themselves with the world and its creatures within.
Nothing is lost
Nothing is created
Everything is transformed
A portal is an exit from one place (or state) and entry into another.
My charcoal drawings of roadkill are poetic expressions of the portal that symbolizes the transition from life to death.