Katherine Petrowicz
Undergraduate, Drawing + Biology

The Jaws of Life
acrylic, found objects, collage

The Jaws of Life features a creature with a fake wolf skull head, a body made of tropical flowers, and arms made of leaves. The flowers appear both like a dress and like entrails. The figure is situated in a surreal Florida landscape, with a surplus of collaged white-tailed deer staring directly and accusingly at the viewer. The wolf’s jaws are open as if silently screaming.

The red flowers in the wolf’s skull are indicative of the head intended to symbolically belong to the Florida Red Wolf (Canis Rufus Floridanus), that was driven to extinction, causing a chain reaction that helped lead to other population issues, such as with white-tailed deer. The tropical flowers and vine leaves bring to mind Florida’s currently disappearing flora and fauna as they are associated with the skull-creature.

My intention was for the viewer to feel confronted by the screaming skull, set at eye-level, and to feel the accusatory stares of the deer as they stand in a crowded existence. I want the viewer to walk away with the feeling that they were accosted by their relationship with the landscape and to think about the reason why they feel guilty after looking at the work.