Pileated Woodpecker route 121.
I don’t watch the news. This is good, and bad. I’m probably not on the threshold of knowing what goes on in the world the minute it happens, but at the same time, if I expose myself to it, I am unable to filter the stream of hyper sensationalized stories that accost my senses. You can’t escape it. Televisions are in the airport terminal, in the Jiffy Lube when I’m getting the oil changed in my car, taxi cabs in Manhattan, and even when I’m in my dentist’s chair. Even if I’m able to silence the idiot box, the “crawl” itself, is nothing but high drama headlines. Recently when I was getting a crown replaced-as I lay there waiting for the Novocaine to kick in, I watched a so-called cooking show where the contestants job was to undermine their fellow chefs performance, rather than focusing on their own creation. Each contestant had a budget where they could purchase poor quality or inappropriate ingredients that they foisted on another peer making it impossible for them to turn out a successful dish. We have become addicted to drama.
Obvious, is easy. Subtlety, is not so easy. When I set out to do “Hit and Run,” I photographed it from many vantage points and approached it from several different views. I have the eviscerated footage that one associates with roadkill-endtrails and unidentifiable remains, carcasses mangled in ways that defy normal anatomy. I knew that this was not what I wanted, but it was necessary to approach it from all angles. Often times in the creative process something serendipitous happens and one takes on a different direction. For me this can only happen if I blanket my subject in many permutations and combinations. It’s essential for me to experience my subject matter it in all it’s various forms in order to know what to eliminate, and narrow down what to keep. It’s a process that is continually evolving through trial and error, hits and misses, until something congeals and my idea on how to apply a consistent theme becomes clarified. I have to be in it, in order to understand it, in order to convey it. And my aim is to try to bring a sense of grace to even the most difficult of subjects.
This beautiful Pileated woodpecker was flying across the road when it hit the windshield of a car that was driving too fast. My friend a wildlife rehabilitator, happened to witness the event as she was driving behind. She jumped out to resustitate the stunned bird, but she was not successful and felt its warmth leave it’s body, becoming still, then stony. She cried as she laid it to rest.
We are conditioned to shock value, to perfection, the unobtainable, and speed. I feel this cultivates a life of anguish, and we become anesthetized. I hope to bring beauty to imperfection, grace to difficult realities, and a sense of caution to how we view our world and our experience of it.
Thank you to Emma Kisiel of muybridgehorse.com.