Bird Brain and Brain Coral


 Bird Brain and Brain Coral, 2014, (detail) ceramic heads, latex, feathers, plastic pigeons, refuse plastic, coral. Each figure is h.6’ x w.2’ x d.1.5’

My concepts often begin with an object I find in nature, such as an interesting fossil, which sparks my curiosity and inspires me to investigate further. A found object of brain coral inspired Bird Brain and Brain Coral. While researching the fossil, I learned that an indicator of mass species extinction is marked by what is called a “reef die out.” Scientists theorize that the world is in the midst of the next massive species extinction, not experienced since the Jurassic period.

The dramatic arrangement of this piece is that of a crime scene. A figure is hung in the air while another is strewn on the floor as if dead. The body lying on the floor is stuffed with discarded plastic and is in the shape of a “merman.” His head is split open with a piece of brain coral exposed inside. The hung body is over-stuffed with pigeons, feathers, beaks, claws and pigeon heads protruding from his gaping unhinged mouth and other body parts. The form of Bird Brain embodies extinction through consumption.  The form of Brain Coral embodies the death of the oceans through waste. Each figure has a skin-like surface that acts both as a vessel and a barrier. Stretched tightly, or suspended loosely over the sculptural form, the latex “skin” is simultaneously dead and alive. Because of its ability to both imitate human skin, and act in ways that skin cannot, the latex “skin” is an important component. By shaping latex into a human “vessel,” it can expand to hold large amounts of matter. The latex is filled with such materials as feathers, trash, and found objects, which press outward, pushing the latex seemingly beyond its vast ability to hold. The shift between the interior skin to the exterior body, between the inside and outside, refers to consumption and waste. This specific use of materials results in hybrids that can both repulse and fascinate.