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11 October – 2 November 2013

Paddy Lyn space: Gabbee Stolp (TAS/VIC)


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Image: Gabbee Stolp, Surrogate (detail), 2013, mixed media.

Courtesy the artist.


Human kind has had an undeniable impact on Earth’s ecosystems.

In 1914 the last remaining North American passenger pigeon died. A bird that had once blackened the skies, hunted to extinction. The Thylacine, an icon of Tasmania was also hunted to extinction, is now remembered as a creature of myth and intrigue.

For decades scientists have been storing the DNA of extinct animals, preserved in frozen zoos, waiting for a time when human kind is ready for them to return. Cloning, splicing, growing embryos in genetically similar surrogates, it is not science fiction.

The movement is called ‘de-extinction’. Science is making it possible to bring them back.

Surrogate poses questions of this incredible science, can we accept the resurrection of a species and is there room for them in our world? Could this resurrection reprieve us of our guilt for allowing animals to be destroyed, or are we just creating an irresponsible fantasy?

Gabbee Stolp is a Hobart born artist, with a background in aged care nursing and a passion for nature and biology. Gabbee works with gold and silversmithing, sculpture, and taxidermy, to provoke ideas of the biological and the metaphysical and the inseparability of life and death.

Gabbee is currently residing in Melbourne and studying Fine Arts, Object Based Practice at RMIT University.