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Feather Your Nest With Christopher Tennant's High Art Taxidermy

Christopher Tennant
Art by Christopher Tennant / Photography by Brad Bridgers

His upcycled creations bring beauty to life instead of glorifying death. 

What's the point of spring cleaning if not to refresh your decor? After all, if you're throwing things out, you've just made room to bring things in. From one of Christopher Tennant's show-stopping dioramas to a cozy Sherpa blanket, we've got you covered.

Deer heads, stuffed ducks, and mounted fish might be perfectly at home in a ski lodge or the local Cabela's, but they don't belong in your house. Elevate your affinity for nature to the level of art and avoid the questionable ethics of killing for sport with one of Christopher Tennant's dioramas. Inspired by the historical Victorian dioramas that rose to popularity during the 19th century, Tennant repurposes dead crabs he finds on the beaches of Long Island, birds that die in the Chinese pet trade, and stuffed herons he finds at vintage stores to create striking tableaux.


The Flood, 2016, Vintage snowy egret, butterflies, North American bamboo shoots & leaves, wood, glass, glue, acrylic sheet, 12w led. 36 x 24 x 15 inches.

"You're trying to capture a moment and add as much drama as you can to make it interesting," says Tennant, whose cases display perfectly atop a fireplace mantel or mounted on a wall. The 39-year-old's "upcycling" places the animals into a scene similar to one it may have lived through, alluding to the beauty of its life rather than glorifying its death. Victorian-era dioramas were used as educational conversation pieces, and that spirit lives on in Tennant's chic, contemporary works. Let's go back to nature.

Available at BlackBarn in Chelsea Market, N.Y.C.

Feature Image: Year Zero, 2016, Budgerigars, juvenile spider crab, spider crab shells, wood, acrylic sheet, oil paint, plate glass, brass hardware, 12w LED. 22 x 20 x 5 inches. Private Collection.

Art by Christopher Tennant.

Photography by Brad Bridgers.

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