|Dodo, 2007. Crocheted yarn, handcarved pigeon mannequin, walnut stand.|
I find Laurel Roth's Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for pigeons both fascinating and guilt inducing. One look at the crochet work and I'm sure you all understand the fascinating part. Lauren is a mixed media artist whose website is a definite must see. A former park ranger, her art looks at environmental issues in new and very unusual ways. Carved dog skulls in industrial plastics and acrylic speak to how highly bred "Man's Best Friend" has become. Peacocks are constructed from the materials humans use to attract mates - false fingernails, jewelry, nail polish, false eyelashes.
|Carolina Parakeet, 2009. Crocheted yarn, handcarved pigeon mannequin, walnut stand.|
And then there are the pigeons in their Biodiversity Reclamation Suits. Laurel crochets these suits for hand carved pigeon mannequins to disguise them as extinct birds. Biodiversity is recreated and the lowly urban pigeon is reclaimed. Which brings us back to the guilt - I have a "no pigeons allowed" yard. They congregate in large numbers on the roofs and in the yards of all my neighbors, but not ours. After years of being chased out by me, I think pigeon lore has passed on that one does not go "there" because of the crazy, scary woman. It's probably their version of the bogey man story. I don't just pick on them, though - they're very messy, noisy, and chase out the smaller native birds that like our yard. But, would I like them better in these suits? Good art makes you think.
Look at more of Laurel's Biodiversity series here. And if you live anywhere near Schenectady, New York, Carolina Parakeet is part of the Critical Stitch show at the Mandeville Gallery until December 19th.