Most of us have stood face to face with a Lion.

So close, you could almost reach out and touch, if it wasn't for the pane of glass...

Following our visit to the Natural History Museum I have been thinking about the experience 
and environment in which we encounter art objects and how galleries also attempt to challenge 
experience, through display in an alien but ‘authentic’ environment.

As I stood, eyes locked onto his I thought, if I look long enough I might just catch him blink. 
The way his body had been manipulated captured a certain liveliness, as though he could or should 
move any second. It was silly really, but it made me feel a little sad, in the same way I felt when
 I visited the zoo when I was a child. Yes, what I was seeing in front of me was 'real deal' but 
there was always more expectation.  I compare this feeling to when I spotted wild dolphins in the 
North Coast in Ireland, which I describe as one of the best moments of my life. 
The taxidermy is an object which is both representational and material. 
Though, what is interesting is that it’s the very materiality of object that is being ignored altogether.
 There is a desire to fix a lively presence and conceptualise the object in relation to time or linked to a
 particular environment/ narrative. A certain romanticism. It’s not until I stand and look at the lion a 
while longer that begin to have a more detached aesthetic response. I start to notice the fairly disparate 
materials the object is made up from with an added layer of dust cascaded over its back. 
The more I look, the more I begin to think, this doesn’t look like a lion at all.

If you think about it, taxidermy is much like art in a lot of ways...

Yasmine Robinson