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Object Detail

An assemblage sculpture constructed from a wooden Singer sewing machine cover (orientated on its side), a taxidermied canary, an artificial lemon tree and a page of printed sheet music. The taxidermied canary is perched on top of the artificial lemon tree, which is mounted on a painted wooden base and attached to the side of the Singer sewing machine cover. Inside, the sheet music is glued to the top of the cover. The sheet music includes the words "bring back the dead?" The sheet music is from a score based on Janet Frame's poem "Some Thoughts on Bereavement". The stanza's singled out by the artist read: "In loss the trees bear stings, and flowers / carry pain as if it were honey. / The sun is cruel. The daylight does not / understand or why does it not bring / back the dead?" The artificial lemon tree was collected by the artist from a midden at a cemetery. The taxidermied canary, a deaccessioned collection item from the Taranaki Museum, was gifted to the artist when the museum was shifting the collection before their new facility - now known as Puke Ariki - was opened in 2003.
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