A place for weird & pretty things
Vicious Sabrina via Tokyo Telephone
Vicious Sabrina is a collective fashion, art and jewelry project that has united a small group of London and Tokyo based creators on a journey to explore the obscurities of life and history.
I first became aware of their work nestling among the taxidermy at Grimoire Shibuya in the form of beautiful brass specimen cases that are sold as broaches, each one housing a rarity from around the globe, whether it be a fragment of narwhal tusk, a perfectly preserved Japanese hornet or else glittering fossilized bone.
Their work began with these cases each housing an item from a collection built up over decades of scouring the world’s markets, chance encounters and deals to buy private collections of veterinary scientists that almost seems a shame to put on sale to the public, but it can be safely assumed that with objects this specific, they will only go to a good home.
From there they began to experiment with bone replicas and real bones rearranged in imitation of the invented beasts such as the jackalope, two headed sheep and other falsified remains, along the way making jewelry from medical slides containing diseases and painstakingly accurately finished silver jewelry cast directly from organic objects.
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Every museum worth its salt should have a cabinet of curiosities. The Museum of Natural History in Venice has created an imaginative and visually appealing display of some of their taxidermy and geological collections presenting material in a way that seems both historic and yet contemporary. Fossils, shells, butterflies, stuffed birds and animals, skeletons and precious gems are presented by colour and form, even including a two-headed lamb, and a couple of ‘mermaids’. This small chamber returns a sense wonder at the incredible beauty and strangeness of nature, with no explanation, something which can be very liberating in a museum whose role is often thought to be to simply educate and explain.