What took 3 to 4 months for each pelt to be made with a size 2 or 6 circular knitting needle, Lion Brand Alpine 100 percent wool yarn, and Lion Brand 100 percent cotton yarn is currently on display at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor. This exhibit, called “Vanished into Stitches,” is the work of New York resident, Ruth Marshall. It features 14 life-sized, accurately replicated striped or spotted pelts of ocelots, tigers, leopards and other big felines which are each tied to a frame of willow or bamboo. The pieces are based on a research she did at the American Museum of Natural history where she had special access to real big cat pelts. “I really want people to understand how beautiful these animals are, and I also want them to understand how endangerment and violence is part of the display. It’s a double-edged sword,” said the Australian-born artist. This exhibit wants us to be aware that only 3,200 tigers exist in the wild. She hopes that viewers will be encouraged to learn more about saving big cats from extinction and make a donation to further the work.
Below is a video clip of the exhibit.