Marvel at the dead; taxidermy collection to start conversation in Eden

A world full of taxidermy marvels. Beautiful Resurrection in Eden Arcade is now open. Photo: Rachel Mounsey
A world full of taxidermy marvels. Beautiful Resurrection in Eden Arcade is now open. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

"It's really nice finding an amazing shop in the middle of nowhere that you never expected to see," says business owner CJ after officially opening the doors to his curious shopBeautiful Resurrection.

Tucked away in the far end of the Eden Arcade, Beautiful Resurrection began to grab locals' attention when CJ began to fill the empty shop front with a few stuffed foxes, badgers and wing-spread ravens. They are just a small sample of his taxidermy collection amassed over 10 years.

Although he is not a taxidermist himself, he said the beauty of his prized objects prompted him to want to share his collection with the public, and coming across the empty shop in Eden was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

"It's better than having them tucked away in boxes in the shed," CJ said as he carefully rearranged the position of two coyotes to look like they are sleeping peacefully together next to a fire.

Next to them a badger with a pointed face peering to the ground stands underneath a shiny armadillo, whose short tail curls stiffly around its legs.

"In Australia you would only see these types of animals in a zoo. We don't usually get a chance to see them up close."

CJ has ethically sourced the majority of animals from Europe and the United States where he said the animals have died from natural causes or through legal government culling.

"Although it's not nice to have animals dying, preserving their bodies through taxidermy is a good way to honour them," he said before adding that he consciously doesn't import animals from Africa or the Amazons. And nothing is from an endangered or 'Red' list.

"Everything is imported through Australia's very strict custom laws along with the import and export laws from the countries involved," he said

Basil Brush was imported from England. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Basil Brush was imported from England. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

An exception to the rule is a small handful of squirrels and a goshawk whose yellow eyes peer out of the shopfront window.

"These are all pre-1943, which makes them vintage taxidermy. A time when people weren't so ethically aware. As well as being collectible, just having them here can get that conversation going."

Not everything in the shop is for sale and "getting the conversation going" is all part of CJ's plan.

He hopes the shop will be the beginning of a wider network where people interested in taxidermy will make connections.

"There are people out there who want to have things stuffed or repaired and others who would like to learn the art of taxidermy. So maybe with us here it might just get it going," he said.

A selection of faux animal products are also mixed in with the unique collection and he hopes people will understand his good intentions with the opening of the business.

"People have voiced their concerns, but so far most people have reacted in a rationalised way.

"Taxidermists don't want to hurt animals. At least this way, the death of the animal is not a total loss. We can marvel at their beauty and learn from them.

"It's a small space full of big surprises - I hope people will come along and have a look." he said.

Beautiful Resurrection is open Wednesday to Friday 10am until 3pm and Saturday 9am until 4pm.

Due to the delicate nature of some of the items it is preferred children are accompanied by an adult.

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