collected in woods county

Last October, I spent the month in Alva, Oklahoma as the Artist in Residence at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. I drove there from California over the course of a few days and slowly watched the landscape shift. Upon entering Oklahoma, I was struck by the emptiness of the high plains and the demanding presence of birds. The empty landscape served as a beautiful canvas for observing the many bird species.

As the resident artist, I was given access to many of the resources the school had to offer. I found myself visiting the Natural History Museum often, which was down the stairs from my studio. Included in the cabinets of curiosities were many bird species - several of which were collected in Woods County which is where Alva is located. The taxidermy birds were all made by students, so many of them were scarred with imperfections. Each came with a card noting the date, year and county in which it was collected. They often included the name of the collector and a short description or characteristic of the species.

We collect things in an attempt to preserve them. To preserve memory. As a photographer, I am a collector of images. The photographs in these weavings are composed of the birds that were collected in Woods County. Collected. Re-collected. Recollected.

January 2018