Simply stated, “carving bones” may sound like a morbid activity. Yet, there’s both an elegance and hypnotic nature to the work of Jason Borders, an artist who creates intricate patterns and designs on animal skulls by hand. Borders was last featured on HiFructose.com here, and he appeared in Hi-Fructose Vol 40. The artist currently has a solo show at Screaming Sky in Portland, titled “The Art of Jason Borders.” The show kicked off on July 28 and runs through Aug. 22.
In using animal remains to create something new, Jason Borders' intricate work reminds us of the cyclical nature of life. First featured here on our blog, Borders has always been inspired by nature and always collected bones, but it wasn't until recently that he began to use them as an art medium. He once said that he likes to think of these sculptural pieces as characters, ornately carved bones, antlers and skulls which are designed on the spur of the moment in his Portland, Oregon based studio.
Jason Borders's carved animal skulls are morbidly fascinating. While the ornate, lace-like patterns he engraves into the bone draw viewers in with their beauty, it's easy to become repulsed when you truly think about the origins of his materials. "A large part of what I do involves a familiarization with death," he says. "My belief is that, as painful as it can be, looking directly at death helps you to live your life with intent and purpose." While, in Western culture, we tend to remove death as far away from ourselves as possible, perhaps a more holistic way of thinking about it is to view it as part of our existence. In using animal remains to create something new, Borders' work reminds viewers of the cyclical nature of life.