Cultivating Windows

‘Cultivating Windows' (2012) required a level of skill that I was not, at the time, quite comfortable with. I formulated a flat design in order to create a series of small cardboard coffins using only scissors and glue. Each coffin had the silhouette of an animal cut into the place where a human's face might otherwise lie. Inside the coffins I installed small flickering LED tea light candles and the coffins were individually attached to a white brick wall in a dark room. The coffins were just visible in the dark room and the image of the animals was illuminated by inconsistently flickering shades of light. The aesthetic outcome of this work was very effective, and at the time the choice of animals was apt as they were silhouettes of commonly eaten animals.

I have since recreated this work with silhouettes of the Western Black Rhinoceros, the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger), the Javan Tiger, the Pinta Island Tortoise, the Golden Toad, the Great Auk, the Pyrenean Ibex, the Steller’s Sea Cow and the Quagga. These animals have all become extinct due to human intervention, and strengthen the work because their absence is complete and therefore felt more strongly.