by Sandra Yagi
24″ x 20″ (image) 25 5/8″ x 21.5″ (paper)
archival ink on Moab Entrada rag
The painting is about the loss of an entire species at the hand of humanity‚Ä¶. in this case, the passenger pigeon, which once flew in huge flocks that blanketed the skies of North America, but went extinct due to over-hunting, by 1914. It was a beautiful bird. I’ve seen taxidermied specimens at the Natural History Museum in London, and the Field Museum in Chicago – all of the stuffed birds had lost the original color. I had to look at old paintings by John James Audubon to see the brilliance of their rust and blue hues. The skeleton in the painting, of course, symbolizes death. Death calls, and the birds are shown coming to him willingly, and there is a loving relationship between death and the birds. I wish that we (humanity) would have shown this species some love.