FUNDED! This project was successfully funded on 21 December, 2012. Find other projects
Episodes and Interesting Unknowns with Audubon
- Visual Arts
Follow me as I continue to make photographs in the same wetlands, forests, and shorelines where John James Audubon hunted, wrote about and painted birds.
My journey with Audubon has brought me to his first home at Mill Grove, and the secret rock where he and Lucy cemented their lifelong love and partnership. In Henderson, Kentucky I document an emotional landscape where he started his family, failed as a businessman and spent time in prison. From the bluffs of Cincinnati, my photo collage radiates the hope and doubt Audubon wrote about, when he began his epic journey floating down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans in 1820. Photographing in Natchez along the Mississippi river, my images show the growth of forests, as they were cotton fields when Audubon visited, before the Civil War. Wherever he roamed, the presence of water seems to be the only constant to his past landscapes. The birds are much harder to find. In searching out the oldest habitats that might best reflect Audubon’s time, I find most are now managed wildlife refuges or state parks. Sometimes they are golf courses, canals, or theme parks. Inevitably, these places are surrounded by the effects of modern day life; parking lots, cattle farms, coal mines, and oil refineries. What is clear is that these preserved habitats offer sanctuary to a dwindling avian population.
Recently, Everglades National Park awarded me an artist residency, in support for my Audubon project! Working along the Florida coastline will allow me to finish the fieldwork phase of research and photography. I would like to raise $10,000 so that I can buy film, process the negatives and make many work prints. It will also allow me to photograph key sites from the air, or from a birds-eye view. The strength of my project lies in what I have already photographed from the ground level. Combining aerial views of the contemporary ecosystems will connect the visual themes that have already been created.
Several Audubon related institutions have already pledged their support to exhibit my work, when it is finished. I am honored and excited to exhibit my project in 2013, during the 75th anniversary celebrations of the John James Audubon Museum in Henderson, Kentucky, the institution that holds the largest collection of Audubon materials in the world.
Another anniversary will be acknowledged, exactly 200 years earlier Audubon wrote his of his encounter with Passenger Pigeons, where he describes, the air literally filled with Pigeons, as the light of noon-day was obscured, as an eclipse. I plan to photograph the sky at Salt River to commemorate this important anniversary.
The Photo-Eye Gallery, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico has agreed to host a talk discussing my project Episodes and Interesting Unknowns with Audubon. The slide talk will be advertised to the public and will be offered free of charge in November 2013.
In the event that I over fund, I will produce an exhibition of silver gelatin prints and pigment ink collages, for the exhibition at the Audubon Museum. My exhibition will be designed to travel to land conservation societies, museums and universities who are also inspired by Audubon’s legacy.
Please join me and pledge your support today. Thank you so much!