The life-sized animals in Melbourne-based artist Adriane Strampp’s most recent project exhibition — Erlösung: The Animal Gaze — are not cute. They are solid, monumental creatures drawn life-size, yet they remain fragile and exposed, vulnerable to the encroachment of mankind.
And with their wary gaze, the animals seemingly stare back in this project which was produced in conjunction with her 2011 residency at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
As humans we desire to make a connection with animals. We give them human characteristics, anthropomorphise them, and long for our gaze to be returned. In reality, all animals look through or past us and our the viewers’ projections are mirrored back, only to remind us of our imposition on their fragile and disappearing world.