Caitlin Hackett’s artwork analyzes the boundaries that separate humans from animals. “these boundaries are warped by new scientific data, mythology, history and religious beliefs alike, blurring the lines between us as science, religion and culture clash over what it is to be human, and thus, what separates us from the beasts of the wild,” states Hackett.
Caitlin Hackett is fascinated by the way in which people personify or objectify animals; the way in which the human view of an animal can render it into an object of utility, or a trustworthy companion, or a monstrosity, regardless of that creatures true nature. It is this dichotomy that Caitlin Hackett aims to reveal in her work, the ‘real’ animal versus the abstract animal as it exists in the human mind, an animal mutated by social constructs and mythology alike.
The symbolic meaning attributed to different species correlates directly with how they are treated in the real world; which creatures are protected and which are not, which are vilified, which are adored, and which are ignored altogether.