Monday, September 30, 2019

Coyote Head 2019

Today was a day of finding dead things. As I was filling the my horse tank water-garden this morning, I noticed gold where it shouldn't have been, floating at the edge of the tank surrounded by cattails. Sure enough, it was my largest, oldest goldfish.  Later, while eating lunch, I heard a shrill kind of squeal.  Since we have two small dogs, I'm always worried about coyote abductions, so I rushed out to see what was going on. I found Niko, our rat terrier, doing something to a dying squirrel(sniffing, eating??).  I ruined his day by making him leave his incredible god-given kill/find and then later I came out with a shovel and tossed the corpse over the fence, hoping that that same coyote I'm so nervous about would show up for a good meal.

For years I've used photographs of dead animals to inform my work. The Coyote in "Coyote Head" was from a coyote's body I found, perfectly preserved, by the side of the road while cycling. Snakes, birds, coyotes, and deer are my animals of choice, but I have also photographed dead bugs, dead mice, dead squirrels, and mummified cats. There are two other woman artist/photographers who use animal corpses in their work and are friends of mine--Kate Breakey and S. Gayle Steven.  I think we are of a certain breed of woman artists, perhaps bordering on the bruja, or shamanic. I know both women are fearless in retrieving and using the bodies of the animals they find--much braver than I since I only photograph them in situ. But today I found that I had no interest in photographing my two finds.  I'm not sure why, just that there was no impulse when there would have been five years ago. 

*a friend just told me about another “bruja” artist named Judith Crispin pretty great stuff. https://judithcrispin.com/2019/01/22/2019-lumachrome-glass-prints-for-sale/

 

4 comments:

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  2. This has the look of a constellation which the coyote is both part of and
    gazing into. Beautiful.

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