Laura Bifano's "Menagerie" are a series of 10 polygonal animal paintings which she explains were inspired by her love of nature and classic video games. The paintings were shown in a solo show in 2011 at the Intent Gallery at Art Central, Calgary AB.
"Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been working for 16 years to create sculptures that move on their own in eerily lifelike ways. Each generation of his "Strandbeests" is subject to the forces of evolution, with successful forms moving forward into new designs. Jansen's vision and long-term commitment to his wooden menagerie is as fascinating to observe as the beasts themselves.
His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine's direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck."
"the zoological garden, like the botanical garden emerges from Assyrian hunting parks (c1350 BC) in fiction from the mythological topos of Paradise (pairidaeza) shared yet differently interpreted by both Islam and Christianity. Whilst there is evidence of collections of animals in Egyptian and Chinese gardens, it is the Garden of Eden, which underpins modern western zoological and botanic gardens. The first modern botanic garden is attributed to the Padua University (1543), although it can be traced to Aristotle's Lyceum. The inclusion of collections of animals in gardens for mere spectacle can be most illustriously ascribed to the Romans who developed aviaries and menageries but the seminal menagerie design was that of Le Vau for Louis 14th at Versailles in 1663."
Fig.1. Jeremy @ picasaweb, 1 August 2008, 'Cassowary at Edinburgh Zoo', Scotland.