Angela Singer

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Angela Singer
Angela Singer artist 2016.jpg
Essex, U.K.
Known forSculpture

Angela Singer (born 1966 in Essex) is an artist of British and New Zealand nationality who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. An animal rights activist, she addresses the way in which people exploit animals and the environment through the repurposing and remodelling of vintage taxidermy, a process she calls "de-taxidermy". Since the 1990s her work has been exhibited both in New Zealand and internationally.


Singer graduated in 2002 from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland with an MFA.[1] She lives with her partner, artist Daniel Unverricht, in Wellington, New Zealand.[2]


Since the mid-1990s, Singer’s art has explored the human and non-human animal relationship, driven by her concern with the ethical and epistemological consequences of humans using non-human life, and the role that humans play in the exploitation and destruction of animals and our environment. Singer sees the boundaries separating other species from humans as permeable.[3]

She sculpts in various media including modelling clay, wax, fibre, ceramics, gemstones, and vintage jewelry, as well as wool and silk. Many of her sculptural works combine mixed media with vintage taxidermy. Singer is known for working with vintage hunting trophy taxidermy, which she recycles into new sculptural forms to explore the human/animal divide.[3] She calls this practice “de-taxidermy”, a process which involves revealing the wounds inflicted on the animal, wounds that are obscured by the taxidermy process and its attempted "rescue from time".[4] Singer incorporates into her work some of the history of the death of the animal, which she obtains from those who give her the vintage taxidermy.[4][3]

Like Karen Knorr, Singer uses old hunting trophies or vintage taxidermy that natural history museums have thrown away. Some of the trophy taxidermy Singer uses is found discarded in dumpsters and garbage piles.[3] Curator Jo-Ann Conklin writes:

A number of artists in the exhibition react to human treatment of animals and the environment. New Zealand artist and animal activist Angela Singer rails against trophy hunting. Her latest work, Spurts (2015), depicts a decapitated deer with cartoony yet still gruesome bubble-gum pink “blood” spurting from it neck. Mark Dion’s Concrete Jungle (1993) is…the detritus of our contemporary consumer culture — a pile of discards and garbage in which animals attempt to survive.[5]


Singer is an artist and an animal advocate. Like other artists such as Sue Coe, she is concerned with the ethics of using live animals in art. She will not work with living animals or have living creatures harmed or killed for her art. In the early 1990s she worked with the animal rights group Animal Liberation Victoria, Australia (ALV) antivivisection campaign.

A quote from Singer, regarding her use of taxidermy as an art form:

I think using taxidermy is a way for me to honour the animals’ life, because all the taxidermy I use was once a trophy kill. ... The very idea of a trophy animal is sickening to me.[6]

She is not related to Peter Singer, the animal rights activist and philosopher.



  1. ^ "Biography". Angela Singer home page. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  2. ^ Dunn, Megan (Summer 2017). "Profile Summer 2017: Mean Streets". ArtNews New Zealand.
  3. ^ a b c d Aloi, Giovanni (Autumn 2008). "Angela Singer: Animal rights and wrongs". Antennae: Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. 7: 10–17. ISSN 1756-9575.
  4. ^ a b Connor, Steven (2 March 2009). "The Right Stuff". BlouinArtinfo. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. ^ Conklin, Jo-Ann (2016). "Dead Animals, or the curious occurrence of taxidermy in contemporary art". David Winton Bell Gallery. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  6. ^ Baker, Steve (Autumn 2008). "Something's gone wrong again". Antenna. 7: 4–9.

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