Art, Craft, and the Coywolf


While poking around WordPress for posts having to do with coyotes, I came across this piece on Janice Wright Cheney at::soulexposed::. Cheney has done some awesome work regarding coywolves, those creatures which are the offspring of the ever-wandering coyote and Canada’s eastern wolf. (A very great many of the coyotes of the east coast fit that bill.)  As she explains in this Archive 7 profile, she took wolf taxidermy forms (the mannequins upon which tanned hides are mounted), and covered “the creatures in cloth and dressed them in the furs of other animals, including coyote pelts. It’s as if they’re trying to pass themselves off as something that they’re not. They’re like little old ladies, but they’re dangerous.” I very much enjoy seeing coywolves approached in such a beautiful, thoughtful, and unique way.

Cheney has other pieces focusing on animals, and her profile describes how this work concentrates on and explores “the idea of vermin — creatures that are not wanted. Bear, coyote, rat, insects, they are all intruders on human territory, and Cheney is fascinated by the casual violence we condone in the name of wildlife encroaching on human-claimed territory.” All of these animals – even the bear – are living things that can be happened upon in the urban landscape. May our interactions and dealings with them be as nuanced and imaginative as Cheney’s.

4 responses

  1. I never heard that term before.Interesting! I have heard that many think the reason our coyotes are bigger than out West is because of the breeding of coyotes and wolves in the past. I love to see them- they are so wild- yet sightings are also tinged with a little fear for cats, rabbits and small livestock. Most of me is glad they have returned.

  2. Yes, I really like them as well. I understand the fear, and I know that if I had a cat I would be especially vigilant about keeping it indoors, especially at night. But most of me is just happy to have something so explicitly wild, mysterious, and rather large(!) in my landscape. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. Completely honest, ok? That picture is disturbing. I don’t know why, but it makes me uneasy. Maybe it’s the pastor in me who despises hypocrites, or wolves in sheep’s clothing. A wolf in coyote’s clothing saying, “Here, I’ll take your leather; you take my lace,” takes it too a whole new level.

    I am afraid this picture is going to be like a song that I can’t get out of my head. The next time I help a little old lady the thought will cross my mind, “Will she bite my arm off?”

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: