‘A misunderstood art’: Lessons with Lincoln’s ethical taxidermist

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“It’s taking a dead animal and making it beautiful again, making it remembered”, said Lincoln artist and conservationist Suzie Li Wan Po as she described her new ethical taxidermy classes in Lincoln.

Art and animal lovers curious about the workings of taxidermy and entomology (butterfly setting) can learn the intricate art forms with 24-year-old Suzie at The Beehive workshop space on St Martin’s Lane.

Suzie’s lessons have an ethical twist, meaning all the animals used have lived their lives and have died of natural causes. Some have even played a part in environmental schemes.

The butterflies used in her workshops have been picked from charities where they are used to help pollinate endangered or rare species of flowers. Once they die, they are sold on to raise money for the cause.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Classes are posted regularly on the Facebook page here and range from mouse taxidermy to intermediate butterfly setting.

Sazie Li Wan Po studied conservation and restoration at the University of Lincoln before going on to work at the Zoologiy Museum at Cambridge University and the Science Museum in London.

Her love of taxidermy and conservation inspired her to set up her own unique business in Lincoln.

Taxidermy artist Suzie Li Wan Po at The Beehive in Lincoln. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“People can learn from the beginning how to taxidermy works”, she told The Lincolnite. “They can start with a mouse, we do butterfly beginners setting in frames. We also do intermediate lessons setting them in domes and in more complex positions.

“Taxidermy does still have a bit of a negative image from some people. But what I’d say to them is modern day taxidermy is ethical. It’s not killing the animal.”

To find out more about Suzie Li Taxidermy or to book on to one of the classes in Lincoln, visit the Facebook page here.