Shine A Light

From the beginning of this project crate 20 has always been known as our ‘textile crate’, as it mostly contains rugs and wall hangings. However, when we actually opened it four weeks ago we were surprised to find a beautifully hand painted and unusual wall hanging which was made from elephant skin.

Painted in a Japanosiery style which became popular in Britain during the 1860’s (see Dayna’s blog ’http://shinealightproject.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/chinoiserie/‘ for more info), the skin features oriental flowers and birds* that are intricately painted in gold, brown, green and yellow.

While a lot of work and care went into its design (making it fascinating to look at), this object highlights the sometimes controversial issue of the display of animal specimens and remains.

While some people may be horrified that an elephant skin was hand painted and then used as a wall hanging, in times gone by animals that had…

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