The plight of the tiger’s survival in the wild has been widely reported, particularly the efforts of conservation groups in India, where it is estimated that half of the world’s population of wild tigers live. Prior to colonisation by the British, India’s aristocracy had engaged in the practice of hunting. However, the escalating slaughter of tigers during the British occupation was phenomenal. The consequence of this colonial legacy is a species hovering on the brink of extinction. While conservation projects operate across a number of countries including India, their population remains at risk from poaching and deforestation. In the exhibition the vanishing, the tiger past and present is the protagonist, its tale told through the interweaving of material and process, memory and narrative. Hanging sheaths embroidered with words, a reflective pool of glass bullets, the tigers shrouded in white, in red velvet, sit like ghosts, a haunting presence that echoes the violence of the past.
Recommended CitationElliot, Michele, The Vanishing, Animal Studies Journal, 1(1), 2012, 45-52.