Street art: Troubling turkeys

Street artThese images are dated now. I expect the actual works would have completely disintegrated since I first took these photos in late 2014. I recall how unexpected they were, pasted-up alongside various stencils-with-political-messages and other graffiti in an otherwise desolate alley behind Kingston Shops.

In a similar fashion to the detailed line drawings of faces appearing on stickers around the same time, these two paste-ups (of the same image) are reminiscent of flora and fauna drawings illustrating scientific journals. They are executed with skill and precision and on first glance elicit an amused smirk. A rafter of turkeys – how funny! They wouldn’t be out of place on the pages of Animalia, a children’s alphabet book by Graeme Base that my sister, cousins and I enjoyed growing up.

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On closer scrutiny, though, this first impression is called into question. Are these turkeys or something more fantastical, more prehistoric? And is it humour, or menace that emanates from the scene, made all the more profound by the artwork’s state of decay?

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