Drawings > Bird Wing & Rock Explosion

Bird Wing and Rock Explosion
Bird Wing and Rock Explosion
ground rubbing; charcoal, sand stone, stretched linen

Under unfortunate circumstances, my studio mate left in 2011, leaving behind a vast amount of charcoal on the floor from an installation she was making. Wanting to use that space for storage, and yet feeling her absence, I swept the charcoal into a large shape and let it stay that way for some time.

Later that year, I walked into the room to find a bird - a Common Starling - waddling around in the dust. I was surprised that it was not trying to fly away, but interpreted this as friendly behavior and, plus, there was not a door or window open through which he could have left. Conversely, neither was there an opening through which he could have come.

As I was taking photographs of him leaving footprints in the dust, he began convulsing uncontrollably, and flopping around. It was clear that this would be the first time I would witness something die, and there was nothing I could do. I brought water, just in case, but otherwise could only try to console the bird. He let me stroke his feathers, though it was clearly painful. He seized and stopped, and seized, and then finally stopped altogether.

A canvas was prepared in the shape that I had swept, a small sand stone was thrown into the center, I shaved my head, and embalmed the starling. In the print, there are clear marking of feet and at least one clear impression of a splayed wing.