Upon my first visit to Deyrolles in Paris I was mesmerized when I opened the drawers full of glass eyes. Each drawer was for a different animal, lions, antelopes, dear, foxes, owls, etc. Bodiless, beautifully hand crafted reproductions of nature’s eyes. The dilemma of man’s relationship with nature was leering up at me. This beautifully contrived and controlled vision of nature took another dimension after the devastating fire that destroyed Deyrolles. The eyes in the drawers had cracked in the heat and the eyes of the animals in the rooms had all turned matt black. A painting came to my mind by George Stubbs, of a horse called “Whistlejacket” from 1762, where the horse’s eyes become the vehicle of human emotion as it anxiously fixes the viewer’s regard. I now wanted to look back for the animal by replacing it’s eyes with mine, as it angrily surveys the destruction and the devastation.
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