Cats are fascinating animals. They say cats bring dead things home because they think humans are inept hunters and it's them trying to take care of us. I wonder if that's true...
I'm actually rather unaccustomed to such 'gifts' as of late, as my poor Nyx doesn't seem to have much success with sub-tropical fauna. Unlike London where she grew up, there aren't a lot of mice or rats around here, so the best she managed previously was a rather large grasshopper. Much to my relief, I should say.
Imagine my surprise then, when one morning I opened the door to the back yard and was greeted by a tiny bird corpse. Thanks a lot, Nyx.
As I was trying to figure out what to do with it, I realised that I just had to photograph it. Something about the lifeless wings, the colour of the concrete, the texture of the feathers strewn about... It's hard to explain, but I just saw an image there.
My cat apparently has an impeccable sense of timing, as this 'gift' turned up at a rather convenient time. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about this one particular project of mine that I've been sort of working on for years now without much success. It's called Tactility & Decay and it has to do with the materiality of the world, the process of physical degradation and the poetry of time. Sounds good, doesn't it? If only I knew what the hell that's supposed to look like...
Well, my recent research has been kinda revolving about visual symbolism and the classical, painterly naturemorte. And what's more naturemorte than dead birds?
In classical tradition, dead game included in a still-life painting was supposed to symbolise the impermanence of earthly existence, while feathers often took on religious meaning, representing freedom and the heavens.
This photoshoot turned into a photographic study of the poor bird's form, the way it can look and how it can be used to communicate mood and atmosphere. And so, my obsession with texture, muted shades and soft focus continues.