Tags Sunday Times Column

An artistic take on bringing catches to back life permanently

An artistic take on bringing catches to back life permanently

It wasn’t an easy process and it meant getting your fish stuffed and mounted to display as a memento of the one that didn’t get away.

These days there are more and more creative options available, with gyotaku fish prints certainly growing in popularity recently.

A Busselton fisho has also come up with a unique and very artistic take on bringing catches to back life permanently.

Busselton’s Matt Durell was always fascinated by the ocean and the animals that lived in it, including their biology.

One day while filleting a pink snapper during the turmoil of the initial Covid-19 pandemic last year, he got the idea of rebuilding the fish as a skeleton and thus SW Skeletal was born.

Matt now rebuilds fish for himself and customers, creating very unique works of art that can be displayed in homes and offices.

Fish species he has worked on include dolphinfish, dhufish, pink snapper, Spanish mackerel, mulloway, red bass and goldband snapper and the results are simply amazing.

Matt is able to offer different finishes, including chrome and painted skeletons.

He also does crayfish, crabs and marron, with many of his projects mounted on feature timber to create a stunning finished product.

I am always amazed at how clever some people are and I’d never really thought of fish skeletons as being a display item in a home although I once had a perfect pink snapper skeleton I found on a beach, until it got broken while moving house.

Having seen Matt’s work I am definitely keen to get one done in the future.

My wife will no doubt be sceptical, but I think she’ll change her mind when she sees the quality of the finished product.

Arguably his most amazing creation is a dolphinfish sprayed in its natural colours and beautifully lit to highlight his intricate work.

Matt also does fish skulls and has done ram and wild pig skulls, and he also has an online shop at www.sw-skeletal.myshopify.com with a range of clothing and merchandise based on his work.

As you might expect it’s quite a tricky process Matt undertakes, which requires the fish or other animal to be presented in specific condition to be used.

If you are interested in having your catch remembered this way, you can contact Matt at SW Skeletal on Facebook and Instagram.

Caption: Matt Durell with some of his creations. An artistic take on bringing catches to back life permanently

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