Arts and Culture

Into the backstage: SA Museum’s taxidermy room

Posted on: Fri 2 Apr 2021

Welcome to Into the Backstage, a series in which we visit the spaces that are typically concealed from visitors’ eyes, and talk to the people you normally don’t hear from. From peeking into museum vaults to talking to chefs at large music venues and your favourite pub’s bouncers – we’re here to break down all the walls and reveal the secrets that lie, so beautifully tucked away, behind them.

Jo Bain has worked as a taxidermist in the SA Museum since the age of 15 and is now the museum’s only taxidermist and model-maker. This means he spends his days, somewhere in that building, preserving some of Australia’s and some of the world’s most unique creatures.

Part one of the interview

We caught up with him to ask what his concealed workspace looks like, and to talk about using hoists, sledgehammers, fine paint brushes and 3D-printers, dealing with the smells and the gore, and the revolutionary techniques he’s come up with to radically change the world of museum taxidermy.

Produced by Stefanie Staelens
Photo credit: provided by SA Museum

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