Australian-born artist Ruth Marshall creates life-size pelts of various animals using colored wool yarn. Rooted in traditional craft techniques, these meticulously knitted works also stand firmly within the realm of contemporary art. Marshall was granted special access to the mammal collection at the American Museum of Natural History and spent many hours researching and executing large drawings from the aged specimens. These detailed drawings serve as a source for the artist as she replicates the distinct markings and contours of various tiger and ocelot species. Each fiber composition takes over three months to complete. This installation of 14 replicated skins gives the viewer the impression of a black market trophy den, and sheds light on the illegal activities surrounding the extermination of these wild cats. The large-scale nature of these works (some of which span over six by nine feet) and Marshall’s obsessive attention to color and pattern, underscores the beauty of these unique creatures teetering on the edge of extinction.
Marshall received her MFA in sculpture from the Pratt Institute in NYC and BFA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She resides in New York City and teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Her works have been exhibited at the Textile Museum, Washington DC; Museum of Art and Design, NYC; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona and the San Jose Museum, CA. Marshall is represented by Dam Stuhltrager Gallery.