amore de mori
Some of you may be familiar with Amore de Mori, if not, all will be revealed!
Amore de Mori is the brand encompassing the work of inspiring British artist Bonnie Wood. Loosely explained as taxidermy and osteological adornments, Bonnie's projects have expanded over the years, from her first collections of beautiful accessories created out of or including bones, feathers and fur to a wide range of creations.
Alongside her Amore de Mori pieces she also creates larger taxidermy work under the name of Sleep and has recently opened an online boutique, Once, which features more affordable pieces of wunderkammer. Like all of her work, each piece in the Once boutique is handmade and completely one-of-a-kind, including items created in collaboration with other illustrators and artists.
Searching on Etsy for "taxidermy accessories" gives all kinds of hideous results, mainly pieces that use wonky or over-stuffed taxidermy just for the sake of using it. Of course, there are many issues as to where the animals came from, and the ethical issues of taxidermy used as fashion. Personally, I feel that the beauty of animals shouldn't be wasted, which is why I am comfortable wearing vintage fur (much of which has been in my family for decades). There is a strong difference between Bonnie's work and many of the pieces on Etsy; the care and attention gone into her presentation transports the dead into second life, angelic and classic. The Sleep art pieces could easily stand up to the work of popular taxidermy artists such as Polly Morgan and Angela Singer.
Below are a few of the photographs I have taken either featuring Amore de Mori pieces, or in collaboration with Bonnie.
If you would love to get hold of a piece of Amore de Mori artwork, you could be in luck! Bonnie is running an amazing giveaway across her facebook and tumblr!
The giveaway consists of 3 stunning prizes, the first being Garcier and Dalia, a one of a kind taxidermy artwork. There is even a story behind these conjoined chicks, and being a wannabe carny, theres nothing I love more than stories of Louisiana hoodoo, fortune tellers and spit-and-sawdust carnival freakshows.
The second prize is the head of the dastardly villain that took Garcier's eye!
And the third prize, the preserved heart of Garcier and Dalia, presented as a gorgeous necklace in a coffin box.
HOW TO ENTER
Each time you share/reblog either on facebook or tumblr, you gain another entry. Therefore, the more you share, the more likely you are to win!
The competition closes when the Amore de Mori Facebook page reaches 1000 likes and the Amore de Mori tumbler achieves 500 followers.
The winner of the first prize will be the person with the most entries. The winner of second prize the person with the second highest number of entries and the winner of the third the person with the third highest number of entries!
Surprisingly, I realised I hadn't really been in front of the camera for some time, so when Charlotte (RavenBlakh Photography) contacted me regarding a new shoot, I thought it was a good time to remedy this!
I had worked with her before, so I already knew she is talented! I find that I don't often model for others mostly because I don't think many photographers have a style that works well for me. I look for photographers with a distinct voice, which will work with my styling rather than just flat images where my styling pulls the image along.
This shoot was based on the theme of mourning, which instantly made me think of Amore de Mori's beautiful Memento Mori collection. I had a few pieces still with me after shooting the product shots for them:
Check out the rest at the Once boutique. I absolutely love this collection - I find Victorian Post-mortem photography fascinating and beautiful. Considering the amount of work, detail and originality of these pieces, I think they are more than worth the price. Perfect present for those with a bit of a morbid sense of humour ;)
I also had the pleasure of borrowing a beautiful black corset and neck corset from Boom! Boom! Baby! who's work I've also shot years and years ago! Her corsets are an absolute work of art, and this one was in a beautiful thick leather. I love the shape that neck corsets create, which I think worked especially well for a slightly Victorian-esque shape.
The other parts of the outfit were pulled together from various bits and pieces from my wardrobe, including a bra from Playful Promises and a Kiss Me Deadly suspender belt. I put the wig together a few nights before, making poor Mr. Phrenology head into a drag queen.
And now, onto the results!
MUA: Tabby Casto
Assistant: Carl Osbourn
I'm so pleased with these images! There are even more amazing shots that you can see here!