The Presence of Our Absence: Jamaican Artist Jodie-Lyn-Kee-Chow Open Studio Exhibition

My recent body of work entails images of birds some of which are endangered in our global natural landscape. These birds in peril range from the Red Knot, to the Spoon- billed Sandpiper, to the Scrub Jay.

The Red Knot, a species on the brink of dying out due to global climate change and industrial fishing of their food source of horseshoe crabs as bait notably by the Delaware Bay in the United States for pharmaceutical testing and human consumption of other shellfish. It is a similar situation for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper as a large population of them stop for migratory rest by the polluted and disappearing mudflats of the Yellow Sea. Diminished bird populations are partially due to industrial fishing of their main food source for human consumption. The migration of these bird species is also widely affected due to their food source not being of ample supply in their usual stop off locations. In the case of the Scrub Jay, a native bird of Florida, U.S. their endangered status is the fault of commercial and residential properties being built upon sites in Central Florida, the only place suitable with a specific ecosystem for their food and natural habitat.

I am hoping that by addressing these issues in this body of work I can raise awareness to their endangerment.

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These works consist of paper cutouts of birds whose images are carefully selected and scaled to their actual size. The cutouts are then laminated and strung with fish line and arranged in formations such as; a flock of birds in space, symbolic of their natural placement of birds in the sky. Their one sidedness and repetition is only a positive reminder of their presence while the blank sides is a representation of their absence in our natural world. --Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow

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