Over the three months of the winter season as the fox population increases, Fiona MacDonald : Feral Practice will practice 'foxing'. She will experiment and document her encounters with foxes. She will hunt them armed with art – aiming at them physically, mentally, imaginatively.
Why do we hate, and love, foxes so much? Foxing explores the territory from all sides, attempting to address the headlines and hyperbole, but also move towards more personal, profound and playful meetings with foxes.
The artist initially displayed a fox pelt in the outdoor cabinet that forms part of the project, commenting that:
It is the half-site of a real animal. So much debate and dissent circulates about foxes without the reality of them as living creatures being present. Having a living fox as an exhibit was not really an option - foxes have better things to do. I felt that the shock of this (all too easily available) real skin was vital, and timely. Death is the consequence of interaction with human beings for so many foxes. We have an unkind tendency to deal with what we find inconvenient in wild animals by killing them. May’s government is keen to repeal the ban on hunting with hounds. They are also rolling out the badger cull despite the science showing that it fails to prevent the spread of TB in cattle. I am not here to judge people, but I do work to encourage a more thoughtful way of relating to our fellow creatures.
Alongside the outline of the pelt are two scrolling signs, performing oppositional words used to describe foxes: majestic/marauding/sly/thrilling/killer/beautiful/psycho. The work is installed on printed news items from project webpage Fox News, bringing together stories involving foxes from across the gamut of opinion and news – the gun-for-hire London ‘pest controller’, the celebrity feeding foxes and fox-fur coat for sale.
From 8-11 February, Foxing fills the gallery, as Fiona MacDonald : Feral Practice displays the initial results of her attempts to practice 'foxing'.
The commission is accompanied by a series of free events running from January to March.
4 Seasons is a new outdoor commissioning programme which explores wildlife, biodiversity and artists’ interest in nature. The programme will be a seasonally changing display in the cabinet on the side wall of the Post Office next to PEER, and a series of events.
This programme is generously supported by Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust