Other People’s Art: Lost Birds on a Rainy Day

Pigeon" by Todd McGrain - View # 1

The George Eastman House exhibit, in 2012, of  Todd McGrain’s Sculptures from The Lost Bird Project,  offered me an unexpected opportunity for closure.  When I was young, I had read about the fate of the Passenger Pigeon and many other extinct species that had passed from the earth only a few generations earlier than my own birth.  A sense of profound loss followed me as I matured and read works such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and Wildlife in America by Peter Matthiessen. These were among other classics of environmentalism that I found in the library of my mother, who was a bird watcher as well as a lover of art and music.  Somehow the story of the Passenger Pigeon touched me the most.  Decades after I read of the species’s demise, I finally connected to a sense of mourning while visiting Todd’s sculptures.  This was also true as I watched Todd’s film on this project during one of his visits to the museum.

On the last weekend of the visit of the Lost Bird to Rochester, I did my own photographic homage to Todd’s collection of sculpture.  And a few months later, I also wrote a poem entitled Lament for the Lost Birds as another statement on the sense of the tragic loss within our world.

Photographs take at a visit to the George Eastman House Gardens of Sculptures from The Lost Bird Project by Todd McGrain

© 2014 Studio Michaelino  and Michael E. Tomb

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