Animal Stories by Anne Lemanski
The handstitched paper and fabric animal sculptures of Anne Lemanski call attention to the fragile state of many creatures that are nearing extinction today. The following pieces, all presented in the wall-mounted style of a hunter’s trophy, depict animals that have fallen victim to human abuses of the environment such as deforestation, global warming, pollution, and agricultural development.
All works are made with copper rod armature and artificial sinew; handstitched. Photos: Steve Mann.
The golden frog is endemic to Panama. It is now believed to be extinct in the wild due to the chytrid fungus, deforestation, water pollution, and the exotic pet trade. According to folklore, the golden frog turned to solid gold when it died, and it was considered good luck to see one.
Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki), 2010; vinyl; 17" x 27" x 22".
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), 2010; archival inkjet print on paper, leather; 19" x 24" x 24".
Polar bears are currently being threatened by the melting of the polar ice cap due to projected climate change. The bears rely on the sea ice to hunt seals. The population in the United States is approximately 3,500, and is declining. The archival inkjet printing on the surface of this piece depicts ice melting.
Furadan Feline (Panthera leo leo), 2009; archival ink jet on paper and African “shuka” fabric.
In the past twenty years the African lion population has gone from 200,000 to 30,000, and is still declining. The biggest threat to the animal’s population is indiscriminate killing, primarily to protect livestock. Furadan, a highly toxic chemical pesticide, is used to poison lions in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. The pink design used for the ears, eyes, and nose of Furadan Feline is found on Furadan product packaging, readily available in agricultural stores in the region. The red striped and blue plaid cloth are cut from “shukas,” a blanket-like garment worn by the Masai herdsman of Kenya. The mainstay of the Masai people is raising cattle.