Tamany Baker – Living with Wolfie
“The series documents my response to the ‘presents’ that Wolfie, my beloved cat, brings into the home. At first, I experienced some kind of horror: these dead creatures waiting for me in different parts of my house. Then I looked at Wolfie and tried to understand the instincts which brought them there. It reminded me of the difficulty I have in understanding the behaviours of the opposite sex or of a different tribe. At the time, my ex-partner had been unfaithful and I saw some parallels in coming to terms with the difficult habits of the ‘other’, whilst also accepting their difference.
The ceremonial aspect of these photographs is similar to the Victorian practice of making a shrine from photographs of deceased loved ones, using flowers and locks of hair to preserve the memory of the living. With these images, I am instead making a photograph from a shrine, engaging with the changing patterns of nature to bring myself closer to the memory of death and of loss. It may also be a way of acknowledging certain destructive behaviours within myself (my own alien ‘other’), as I become Wolfie’s accomplice in playing with the dead animals.”