On the other side of town from the Whitworth Art Gallery (and utterly different) was the exhibition of work by Rebecca McEvoy at the Manchester Arts and Craft Centre. This jeweller, very originally, creates earrings, necklaces, and bangles out of all sorts of (gruesome!) animal parts. For example you have a rat’s tail necklace, a chicken foot brooch and a rabbit face mask. They are repulsive as much as they are compelling.
Whether anybody would be daring enough to wear such pieces is hardly the point but as pieces of art they are very effective (if effective is the right word!). Why is wearing leather shoes or a fur coat so different? We have been conditioned to think that using such material for its practicality or our enjoyment is normal and acceptable. By creating these pieces it seems that she has asked us to question exactly this. Starkly put in those terms, it sheds quite a different light on the whole thing. Definitely not one to miss!
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