The chaotic yet flowing compositions of Sarah Sze’s sculptures take up spaces that one would normally go unnoticed and unoccupied, and as a result seem to make the viewer hyper aware of their own body in relation to the composition of the works. Sze’s “High Line” installation does just this, as it is installed on an old railway bridge. The metal sculpture installation incorporates a slick, industrial finish with the ephemeral theme of nature, surrounded by various plants. The sculpture itself functions as a bird feeder, as it has little metal compartments housing various seeds, apples, and oranges. This causes any birds that come to feed at the sculpture to become part of the sculpture itself.
Father of writer Helen MacDonald, the late Alisdair MacDonald worked in photojournalism. MacDonald was the photographer for ‘the Mirror’. He had a talent for consistently catching blink-of-an-eye moments, as shown in these ephemeral photos of people interacting with sparrows. I am captivated by the delicacy of these images, and how they show that even amongst pollution and urban sprawl, there can still be a good relationship between man and nature.
Helen MacDonalds’ most well known work is her autobiograhy “H is for Hawk”. In this book, she documents how she processed the grief of losing her father by training a notoriously difficult falconry bird; a goshawk; a bird she had never trained before, despite being an experienced falconer.
The book has been one of my major influences in this project, mainly for how it describes the practices used in falconry, and also for how it describes the process of losing ones’ self and finding solace and kinship in a world of wilderness. I have also been particularly affected by how MacDonald describes how human beings assign human values and morality to wild creatures as a way to make sense of them, which can be seen in my first written piece.