Work of the Week: Emmett Donlon

taxidermied coyote on top of a pole

Emmett Donlon
The Death of a Seventeen Year Old Pacifist
2020
wood, wood glue, screws, nails, motor, fabric, paint, dirt, pole, coyote pelt
24” x 97” x 23”

it happened Quickly
Without a
Fight.

Dead is He
Now.

I had never made a sculpture move, but after watching an old movie with ladies dancing and big skirts, I knew that I wanted to put a coyote in a dress so it too could dance beautifully. Unfortunately, after spending hours on end hand sewing a pretty white dress with a large skirt and red trim fit for a medium sized dog, the effect of the spinning dress was not the same as the old movie, and the jerky spinning of a naked coyote on an eight foot pole was much more mesmerizing. I had written a poem when I was a senior in high school that I thought was pretty funny and rather sad about a young pacifist dying. It felt rather fitting, and made everything much clearer for me; I don’t think I will ever make my sculptures move again. It leaves the object in a helpless state. And everyone stares at it. Also, my parents think this work is weird, and I agree.