Let there be light.
By no means do I consider myself to be a collector of trophies. I either let my catch swim again or I’ll eat a fish. Occasionally I take a snap as a memory or a number of pictures for an article – that’s it. But I do like taxidermy and consider it absolutely ok, for anglers wanting to preserve their catch of a lifetime. Taxidermy – the term derives from classical greek and translates to “arrangement of skin” – has always held a fascination. I vividly remember the mount of a pike in the local pub. That pike was not even particularly nice to look at. Some of its teeth were missing and so was a huge bit of its tail. Being mounted in a pub it was covered in nicotine and dust. Fish mounts in 2017 on the other hand are much more durable. They are easier to clean than older models and today fish mounts often seem livelier than during their time in the water.
The Texan-born (Memphis) Roger Fowler has a different approach to creating a lasting memory of a trophy fish. He makes beautiful sculptures out of bronze or shiny steel of all sort of fish. As a model he does not necessarily require the original catch – a picture of the fish is sufficient. Roger got into art through his job about twenty years ago, which required him to travel a lot. His rare spare time while away on business, he used to spend in museums. Early on his attention focused on fish mounts. He soon discovered that none of the mounts were truly capable of reflecting a fish’s beautiful colours. This realisation led him to to create an image of a trout which in his eyes was deserving of the fish’s natural beauty. Soon he got into producing more mounts and even though his work never made it into a museum, more and more people paid attention to his output. Tired of a life on the road he later decided to found an artisan workshop with his Cath called Rivers to Reef Sculptures. It seems that’s what the world has waited for and in times of sustainable fishing, his art is in demand like never before.