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black bird seriesblack bird seriesblack bird series

Thoughts on the Black Bird Series -

Roger Tory Peterson's book “A Field Guide to the Birds” played a major role in my development as an environmentalist. My new series of carvings are an homage to the bird silhouettes he drew for the inner covers of his famous field guide. His use of silhouettes were both a brilliant design and an excellent way to teach us to first identify living things by similarities, leaving the fine points of color, feather and fur patterns, food and location preferences and behavior for later.

My black birds fly directly from those pages. My black birds are also a response to a year of government policies and statements that encouraged our nation and institutions to evaluate each citizen of Planet Earth based on external markers of gender, skin color, place of origin, belief systems and personal choice. If we allow our government to coerce us into defining our neighbors and their ideas by external markers, we not only risk being complicit in policies that result in great personal suffering, but might also fail to recognize and react to catastrophic scientific, environmental and political policies threatening our planet and all living things. To survive, in both a literal and figurative sense, we must reject ideas that define people and ideas based on external classifications and demand policies and practices which treat everyone equally, benefit all living things and preserve our entire endangered planet.

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