Karley’s work challenges the common aversion towards taxidermy in the home by introducing forms that blur the lines between traditional taxidermy and modern sculpture. The works intend to break morbid perceptions of taxidermy and replace them with more life-affirming connections.
Her works are simultaneously poetic and vexing, they express the ambivalence of life and take you on a profound journey of self-discovery by tapping into your emotions.
“My interest in taxidermy began as a fascination with both the animal-object, lingering old and musty beyond their natural course, and a particular interest in the aesthetic side of the natural and unnatural sciences. Where the rest of us turn away from dead animals, most only see the grave. I see the possibilities. My work is an exploration of these possibilities and attempt to understand animals and our obsessions with nature, beauty and death.
For years now I’ve been obsessed with taxidermy, with the public and private spaces it fills, with the processes by which an animal gets reincarnated to a lifelike sculpture. I’ve fallen in a kind of obsessive, curious love with this art form. I love to look at a mounted animal, admire its stillness and the fact that I can touch it. I appreciate the work that goes into creating the illusion that it is alive. I often get asked why am I drawn toward this thing that repels so many others? But I didn’t push myself toward taxidermy. Taxidermy, somehow, drew me to it”.
Karley's works are held in the James Wallace Arts Trust collection, Westpac New Zealand's corporate collection and in private collections in the UK, USA, Australia, Russia, Switzerland and New Zealand.