These Bucks Are BUCK: Rachel Denny

28 Jul

Is the adjective buck actually used in the common vernacular?  Or do only So You Think You Can Dance geeks like myself know what it means, thanks to Lil’ C?  He uses it as slang for something that is crazy good and cool.  Which is exactly how I would describe the sculptures of Portland artist, Rachel Denny.

Red Buck, polyurethane foam, wool and wood

On my morning walk with George today, we came upon a deer munching on flowers in a neighbor’s yard ( one of the things we love about the Northwest ).  So when I came across Rachel’s work this morning, I connected with it instantly.  Her work explores that surprise of the unexpected wildness of nature in urban settings and every day life.

Young Buck, merino wool, polyurethane foam, thread and wood

Young Buck and Red Buck, both above, are part of her Domestic Trophies series, which while appearing at first to be whimsical and playful, actually seem to be making a commentary on how we try to justify our own violence or antipathy against nature.  The head of an animal that was once a living, breathing creature, killed for sport and mounted as a trophy gets “domesticated” and rendered impotent by blanketing it in a warm and colorful wrap of fuzzy wool.  It is now rendered to be merely a decorative object instead of a wild beast.

The Lion and The Lamb, polyurethane foam, wood and wool

Or perhaps the artist is comforting these poor creatures.  Covering their eyes and shielding them from a future of staring down at the same scene day after day.  Or maybe she’s just having a little fun by creating something beautiful out of something so symbolically grotesque.

Teal Doe, polyurethane foam, wood, wool, paint and thread

Whatever Rachel Denny is doing, I am on the bandwagon.  These pieces are fanciful and fun and if there is a deeper message behind them, so much the better.

Go to Rachel Denny’s website for more of her sculptural work– the ceramics are great, make sure you check them out!

All images via

8 Responses to “These Bucks Are BUCK: Rachel Denny”

  1. Ken Hamilton July 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Oh my these or cool! I love them.

    • Lesley July 29, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      Aren’t they awesome?! Those are the kinds of animal heads I would love to put on my walls. 🙂

  2. Patricia July 29, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    Absolutely great! A nice mixture of fun and thoughtfulness and sharp humor that makes you think. The combination of wool and “trophies” – what an amazing idea.

  3. tinkerbelle86 July 29, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    that so cool!!


  1. Artsy Spot: Foster/White Gallery « Artsy Forager - April 19, 2012

    […] has been on my list of galleries to visit for quite a while and when I saw that they were showing Rachel Denny’s work, it quickly went to the top of the list for our time in Seattle.  But I’m one of those […]

  2. Conscious Collective: Casey McGlynn « Artsy Forager - May 7, 2012

    […] first saw Casey’s work at Foster/ White in Seattle, where he was exhibiting alongside Rachel Denny.  His work is striking from afar, but the elements in each work are what really drew me in and […]

  3. Artist Takeover, Day 1: Deborah Scott « Artsy Forager - July 30, 2012

    […] getting a gallery discount.  ”Shangri-La” is a piece of Maribel’s that I adore. Rachel Denny– Rachel’s “Domestic Trophies” are so fabulous and after we saw them at […]

  4. Artist Takeover, Day 3: Christina Baker « Artsy Forager - August 1, 2012

    […] to combine natural themes or elements in a thought provoking and contemporary way.  Artists like Rachel Denny, Jennifer Bain and Brenda Mallory come to mind. The natural world is full of abstract shapes and […]

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