I Love El

‘I Love El’ was made specifically for the postgraduate show titled ‘Stepping Up’ held at POP Gallery in 2011. It was made up of twenty separate pen drawings of rats mounted into photocopies of antique frames. Standing on a plinth in front of the drawings are three vertical rats cut out of corrugated cardboard mounted in a bed of moss on a flat piece of glass. These three rats are seen to be viewing the images of rats as museological artefacts on a wall. This is encompassing the idea that nothing in the animal kingdom is stable. Even though we currently consider rodents to be a pest and good for testing due to their over production, at any stage their fallibility could become evident and they too could become an extinct species. The passenger pigeon is a perfect example of this. Once considered a pest and seen to migrate in groups of up to one mile long, the passenger pigeon was declared extinct in 1914 due to overhunting and its popularity as a cheap source of meat. The passenger pigeon was a gregarious species and so could not cope with the dramatic decrease in numbers and so their breeding was halted. This may be considered reductio ad absurdum, but the correlations between the passenger pigeon, or the 'rats with wings', and rodents, shows that this extinction really is a possibility.

Although the entirety of this work is showing the possibility of the demise of an entire species of animals, that one day we may only be able to view them in museums, there are indeed parts of nature that will always survive and even thrive. The moss is a symbol of this survival.