People often ask how I got into naturalist arts. My quick and pithy response is usually that I grew up in Kansas, figure it out. But to be honest that answer is extremely misleading. I was raised in the buckle of the Bible belt. To say that there is a lot of open country in Kansas is quite the understatement; the entire population of the state Kansas about equals that of Cincinnati. There was a lot of space and a lot of isolation to force a few creative sparks. It was being raised in this Nature that facilitated my tendency to take things apart, understand them, and put them back together again… Whether that was a clock or a squirrel. Would my artistic penchant for taxidermy have developed growing up as a city kid? I have no way of knowing, but I knew that it was the city that I wanted to spend my time in as an adult. After a typical Victorian Grand Tour (without the budget) I moved to Cincinnati on an Art Academy scholarship after all that I did a stint as a social worker for 15 years, while also starting Meddling with Nature in 2006. In 2017 my partner and I moved to Toronto Canada.
I focus on producing work that recalls the inventive and exploratory spirit common to the naturalists of the Victorian age. In order to do this, I work in media often used to depict the natural world during this period; taxidermy, skeletal preparation, and display apparatus designed for functional education as well as botany, chemistry, carpentry, and all those physical forms that are required to be a proper artistic tinkerer. The work of Meddling with Nature is all produced “from the ground up” and is heavily process oriented. I would even argue that the process is far more important to me than the final results. (unless I am hired for something, then of course the final results are paramount.)
I also work on various independent/feature films and theatrical productions where taxidermy oriented prop design and production is beyond the wheelhouse of the normal propbuilder. Need a portable non-rotting piece of roadkill that looks like it got blasted by a cement truck for a highway shot? I’m your guy.