Ruby Wolfe

Beautiful artwork by Ruby Wolfe based on my self portrait 'Man is the most Insane species'

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My inspiration for this was was from the Hubert Reeves quote-

Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping

I wanted to portray nature and man as a God that is both nurturing and destroying itself in unison whilst remaining unaware of what it is doing. The floral nasal cannula is nature growing and feeding life to itself, the nose bleed and the blood on the claws is the destruction from within coming outside of itself while the eyes remain blind to what it does.

Torture Garden March Ball

I had the great honor of being asked to put on a performance/show at Torture Gardens March Ball at Electorwerkz. Torture Garden has always been something I've held in high regard in terms of boundary pushing fetish nights combined with art performance. When I was thinking of what i wanted to do I knew I wanted to make it special and something to be remembered. 

I decided to base the look of the models bodies and movements on Butoh whilst all wearing my work on their heads and faces. This gave them a look of unison whilst each Bakeneko Designs piece worn was completely unique. Each model took to the stage individually then came back on together and stood at each side. Virgin X then came on and 'blessed' what was about to happen in the second act.
I come on stage leading Mike by a ribbon wrapped around two embellished cheeks spears. I throw him onto the stage, kick his legs out from under him them aggressively pull out the spears. He then drops to the stage as if dead. For the finale I have 'blood' pumped through tubes in my outfit causing it to 'bleed'. the show ends with me in a crucifixion pose before the music ends, lights drop and everyone exits the stage leaving Mikes body on until last.

I wanted each model to act in a way that was both sexual and un-nerving. The idea was not to turn on the audience but to disturb them, make them feel uncomfortable. From a personal point of view the idea of being on stage was terrifying so I wanted to channel that fear and turn it against the audience. I wanted to be feared rather then I be the one that fears them. At the same time I wanted the show to be visually enticing and exciting to watch. Like nothing that has been seen before.

I want to give a huge thank you to David for inviting me to make this show, to all my amazing models and my partner Sam for being my rock whilst I was preparing for this. The whole experience was like a dream come true and I have still yet to come down from the thrill of it.
 

Models (in order of apperance)-

Sam Costello
Benedict Douglas Stewardson/Rodent DeCay
Ruby Wole
Kris Canavan and Talli Lyndsey
Anton Jones
Drew Beckett
Aiden Moore
Virgin Xtravaganzah
Mike Shanti
Bonnie Bakeneko

Their eyes are the nearest to humans

The barn was ablaze and all the animals inside it. We tore down the doors and out ran sheep, goats, horses, cows, pigs and donkeys. There were hutches on fire containing rabbits and guinea pigs, coops full of chickens and turkeys. Near the back hidden around a corner was a huge pillar shaped jar full of venomous snakes in water. Not all the snakes could reach the surface at once so they had to rotate around each other to steal gulps of air. He went to remove the lid and I stopped him because he would surely get bitten. We tied a rope around the jar then when outside pulled on it so the jar came crashing down and broke, releasing the snakes. Then we both ran away as fast as we could before they caught us.

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Recently there have been many dragonflies in the garden and I don't know where they are coming from. I found one dead today and looking at reminded me of what a marvel their wings are. I started thinking about the complex relationship with nature and aesthetics and was wondering if in fact I find these wings more beautiful than a butterflies and why that is. Something in these wings is ethereal beyond the extravagance of a butterfly although these are built more for practicality then for display.  If you take away the wings you are left with elements most people find repulsive, so why just the wings? Furthermore why do we take these parts and then create fairies or mermaids? Discarding the parts we don't understand and don't place value. Why are we always stealing.

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I once went to an animal agriculture vigil which is where you bare witness to animals before they are taken to slaughter. The idea is that they can see a face of compassion and maybe draw comfort from it. The problem is all you look like to a prey animal is a predator. In fact while you walk the earth as a human you will see very little of other animals as you are exactly what the majority fear. How awful it is to know that most of nature will hide from you. A woman told me that at vigils for pigs you always 'connect' with one animal and that animal knows you are with them. She told me that a pig's eyes is the closest to a human's. It is not, even if they were genetically identical a pig's eye is like a pig's eye, not a human's. Within that is the entire problem.

Little bird

Before 'Bakeneko Designs' I had an art project/business called 'Amore de Mori' in which I made wearable taxidermy and osteological art. The inspiration behind it was a 3D moving 'Vanitas' with deaths part being played by the taxidermy/bones while lifes part portrayed in the model wearing it.

I think I was born like a clock a few seconds behind most people. I haven’t ever found my place or way and feel like I am never quite comfortable or ‘right’.
Once I used to look into the sublime and feel great horror. Nature truly terrifies me but in that same breath it pulls me back with fascination. It’s difficult as a conscious being to believe that we are organic and not immortal. When I think of my life I imagine the nothing before my existence and then try to imagine the nothing that will come after. Sometimes I find myself profoundly troubled that I will enter the abyss and I cannot comprehend that there will not be part of me that won’t transcend it. Mostly though I am comforted that one day I will go back to the earth and be no more.
I was struggling with insomnia and lying in bed with my eyes burning a void into the back of my head. Out of the darkness an intense mental image exploded into my mind. I could see all dieing animals crawling their way towards an amber beacon of light. In the centre of it stood the Virgin Mary, emanating a heavenly all encompassing glow. At her feet lay all that was dead. She was the eternal light of sleep and in it was salvation
There is in life a tentative moment where something has reached fruition and hangs in the balance before descending into rot. i want to capture that moment forever so I can better understand it.
I am exploring Vanitas through art and death in fashion to emphasize the frivolity and transient nature of beauty.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.”
Robert Frost
— amoredemori.com

After working on this for a few years i started to feel my morality and aesthetic shifting from its original course. I began thinking of the ethical ramifications of using another animal to highlight human beauty and felt uncomfortable in what I was doing. I still had a huge passion for taxidermy and nature but the pull to do this was coming from a place I did not quite understand yet.
I started to consider the difference an 'ugly' beauty would make where the wearer was more at odds with the animal. More so to have the animal wear them then the other way around. This is how I came to the idea for my 'little bird' mouthpiece. The birds and attacking the mouth of the wearer rather than being a complicit adornment.