Hunting Trophies

 
 

These target art works are part of a series of 14 made for the recent exhibition 'Hunting Trophies' at Parkers Box Gallery, New York City. British artist Gerard Williams has hunted down and gathered together a set of Hungarian postage stamps that were produced in 1966 -the same year that England last won the soccer World Cup. All of the stamps bare images of the heads of European wild animals, mostly game. They were bought on ebay by Williams and delivered to him by post.


The stamps were then forwarded to the USA, again by ordinary mail, first to Delaware's state pistol shooting champion who affixed each animal head stamp to the centre of a standard NRA 25yrd paper target. Each target was then shot at using ammunition appropriate to the beasts depicted until the animal image was hit. The targets were then forwarded to New York, by ordinary mail again, for the exhibition.


These 'works on paper' are the product of a constructed chain of events that began with an online search -a very contemporary form of hunting and gathering. This hunt was followed by their use for target practice, a sport that has grown out of a now redundant need to hunt in order to eat. Since pre-history man has made depictions of his desired quarry. These postage stamp images could perhaps be considered as the contemporary equivalents of these ancient representations, celebrating our now rarely seen and certainly not much encountered, native wild beasts.


The Postmethodists showed four of these targets for the first time in the UK: two in thier Waddington board and the other two in the sister Broadcaster board outside the chapel in Wellingore. Their appearance is timed to coincide with the opening of the British shooting season.

 

Gerard Williams : Autumn 2010