The Holes, 2008
wood, mirror, glue, plaster, foam, metal wire, epoxy clay, epoxy resin, paint, horse hair, synthetic branches, synthetic flowers, pine cones, glass beads, quartz, quail eggs, glitter, and snail shells
291.5 x 883.9 x 518.2 cm installed (approx.)
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42946)
Photo © NGC
David Altmejd has used the recurrent motif of the werewolf as a symbol to convey aspects of life, energy, and metamorphosis that are dominant themes in his work. His fascination with these creatures stems from their basis in folklore as interstitial beings occupying a space between man and animal, good and evil, nature and culture. In "The Holes", Altmejd presents his favoured creation as a body that contains everything. As the hapless beast meshes almost completely with its environment, the multitude of mirror fragments represents the transfer of energy taking place simultaneously between the two. The werewolf emerges here as a symbiosis between humanity and nature, irrevocably combined in a kind of haunting post-apocalyptic harmony.