Carrying a message

Hi Leonor,

I was moved yesterday by something unexpected,  it wasn’t a pleasant experience to be sure, but it allowed me to connect in a compassionate way with a creature that I had overlooked and perhaps been ambivalent towards previously. On my way home from the studio, I saw an injured bird struggling to fly from the street. I was confused at first as to what I was seeing as a tormenting onlooker was cheering for the bird to be hit by passing cars… really sick. I will spare you the details, but will say that the bird did lift off and fly before the next car passed. It was an injured pigeon…

It made me reflect on the cruelty of some, the lack of compassion and sensitivity towards other living creatures… and especially the common disregard for pigeons specifically, which are considered somewhat of a public nuisance to many in the city. Whatever people’s feelings about pigeons, I have no tolerance for cruelty to any animals.. and I began reflecting on these creatures and their significance in the world – which unexpectedly re-connected me to our project..

Homing pigeons as messenger birds were among the earliest forms of long distance communication, carrying messages thousands of years ago (before blogging) as far back as the Egyptian period… they have an internal map and compass that allows them to be incredible and intuitive navigators. They’ve carried messages back and forth in different lands and cultures for millennia… they were the first system of post/mail even.  As we pass images, ideas and notes back and forth over this blog, it made me reflect on this bird as a symbol, as a carrier of messages that travel and migrate…

Below are a few images of early carrier pigeons. These birds were even fitted with cameras by a German apothecary who sent medicines and prescriptions back and forth 100 years ago…

Homing pigeons fitted with cameras, c.1903

Homing pigeons fitted with cameras, c.1903

Aerial views from wingtips...

Aerial views from their wingtips...

Here is an old engraving of Messenger Pigeons… notice the note tied around the ankle

Messenger Pigeons (Harper's Engraving)

Messenger Pigeons (Harper's Engraving)

Detail of a note, a message

Detail of a note, a message

So I want to play with this idea, of the note or a message, tied to the wrist or to the ankle like a bracelet or adornment perhaps. I’m also interested in engaging  ideas of flight, communication, distance and migration.. am experimenting in the studio with found objects, and other materials..

send me a post : )


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