Louise Weaver | Australia b.1966 |Phoenix, Indian blue peacock (Pavo Cristatus) 2008-09 | Hand-crocheted lambswool, cotton thread, and plastic over taxidermied Indian Blue Peacock (pavo cristatus), jute string | Purchased 2010 with a special allocation from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
Phoenix, Indian blue peacock (Pavo Cristatus) 2008-09
Louise Weaver’s sculptures engage with representation, evolution and metamorphosis. Her painstakingly crafted menagerie re-imagines taxidermy models in decorative ‘skins’ created with crochet, appliqué and weaving. This process of fantastic reinvention is transformative, and illustrates Weaver’s ongoing interest in the perceived distinction between artificial and natural, the ephemeral and the imperishable, the beautiful and the bizarre.
With their jewel-like feathers and recognisable strut, peacocks are the show-offs of the bird kingdom, and Weaver has amped up this quality to its (il)logical extreme. The bird, already transformed into a decorative object via taxidermy, now wears a dazzling technicolour dream-coat. If peacocks are legendarily showy, it makes sense that Weaver’s reconfiguration is the showiest of all. Darwinian evolution theory has been to a disco and the result is the opposite of an animal camouflaged: this bird could not be trying harder to say ‘look at me’.