EPHEMERAL HEADPIECES

2013-2016
This (almost) monthly self-portrait series paid tribute to the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth, and was loosely inpired by the pagan costuming and rituals of Vanessa's Germanic ancestors. The headpieces were ephemeral in that they, like their components, only existed for a short period of time; each piece was assembled using mostly non-permanent materials, photographed, then disassembled. Each headpiece was built on a solid base; feathers and quills were inserted into foam blocks and secured with pins and medical tape. Skulls were held in place with rope and wire. No glue was used.

 


36. ELEGY
Elegy
No. 36 | 10/2016
35. FADING
Fading
No. 35 | 09/2016
34. SPLINTERED
Splintered
No. 34 | 08/2016
33. BITTERSWEET
Bittersweet
No. 33 | 07/2016
32. SENTINEL
Sentinel
No. 32 | 07/2016
31. BLOOM
Bloom
No. 31 | 05/2016
30. HATCHED
Hatched
No. 30 | 04/2016
29. RADIANT
Radiant
No. 29 | 03/2016
28. SOAR
Soar
No. 28 | 02/2016
27. DUSK
Dusk
No. 27 | 01/2016
26. FROST
Frost
No. 26 | 12/2015
25. UNDERGROWTH
Undergrowth
No. 25 | 11/2015
24. NOCTURNE
Nocturne
No. 24 | 10/2015
23. WANDERER
Wanderer
No. 23 | 08/2015
22. DEVOUR
Devour
No. 22 | 06/2015
21. HARPY
Harpy
No. 21 | 04/2015
20. ROAR
Roar
No. 20 | 03/2015
19. JUDGMENT
Judgment
No. 19 | 03/2015
18. BOREAL
Boreal
No. 18 | 01/2015
17. WINTER
Winter
No. 17 | 12/2014
16. UNDINE
Undine
No. 16 | 10/2014
15. FERAL
Feral
No. 15 | 10/2014
14. VERLOREN/LOST
Verloren (Lost)
No. 14 | 10/2014
13. ARDEA
Ardea
No. 13 | 09/2014
12. FLAMMEN/FLAMES
Flammen (Flames)
No. 12 | 08/2014
11. SPARK
Spark
No. 11 | 07/2014
10. REGEN/RAIN
Regen (Rain)
No. 10 | 07/2014
9. SONNE/SUN
Sonne (Sun)
No. 9 | 06/2014
8. PAVO
Pavo
No. 8 | 06/2014
7. WARRIOR
Warrior (for my Mother)
No. 7 | 04/2014
6. URSUS
Ursus
No. 6 | 02/2014
5. STARBURST
Starburst
No. 5 | 02/2014
4. ABOMINABLE
Abominable
No. 4 | 01/2014
3. NOMAD
Nomad
No. 3 | 12/2013
2. DEMON
Demon
No. 2 | 11/2013
1. HEATHEN
Heathen
No. 1 | 10/2013

   A note about the animal specimens displayed on this website

Paper birds
Vanessa works exclusively with ethically sourced skulls, feathers and other specimens obtained via private collectors and reputable sources, as well as cruelty-free, non-animal-tested cosmetics. No living creatures are ever harmed for the sake of her art. In fact, she's a vegetarian, and, as noted in the biography section, a lifelong wildlife advocate.

Any North American songbirds featured in her work are printed images—for example, the paper goldfinches and robins pictured to the left can be found in a number of her portraits. In North America, it’s illegal to possess live native songbirds/raptors or their remains (taxidermy, bones or even feathers) unless one is a legally licensed wildbird handler or care provider.

All bones and other specimens in Vanessa's collection are ethically sourced, cruelty-free and non-CITES species, and were obtained through reputable and trusted sources. She does not own/collect specimens protected under international conventions or North American laws, nor should any enthusiast. If her work has inspired you to collect skulls or animal parts, it's your duty as a responsible collector to educate yourself on the legal requirements applicable to your country of residence. Conservation, responsible collecting and awareness are crucial to preserving wildlife and wild places.