Taxidermy, Bugs, and Flying 'Fairy Skeletons': The Art of Tessa Farmer

More

"I'm more interested in evolution and survival, and how things adapt to their surroundings -- and it's really about eating, finding food, and hunting," the London-based artist explains in the video below. Farmer's sculptures are haunting dioramas and floating installations created with elements found in nature, tweezers, and glue. She crafts tiny humanlike skeletons and gives them insect wings so they look like evil little sprites. In one piece, a dead mouse faces off with a miniscule knight: a bony fairy sporting ladybug wings and a lance, riding a black beetle. Don't let the butterflies fool you; Farmer's imaginary universe is violent and totally unnerving. 

No animals are harmed in the making of her work, Farmer says; "I find a lot of dead insects in the streets ... I'm always looking at the ground. Then I pick them up. They have do be dead. I don't kill things." This documentary portrait was produced by Alex Tobin, Adrea Cadorin, and Tom Ellis for Gestalten, a publisher of books on art and design. 

Watch more videos by Gestalten on the Atlantic Video channel

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Ghost Trains of America

Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In