Animal migration on the land.
I live in Montana where there are many more animals than humans. The movement of creatures in the air and on the land influences my daily experience as I look to the sky and follow imprints through the grass or snow. This project centers around the idea of making tracks, leaving marks, and what is left behind. Remnants and remains. What is disturbed along the way? Does the grass bend or break? Does the snow reveal a lonely animal or a veritable highway of activity?
Which path do we take?
My fascination with animal tracks began in March of 2011 during my artist residency at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming. At the time of the residency, I was reading "The Tiger" by John Vaillant. Vaillant describes reading tracks as one of the earliest languages:
"Before we learned to tell stories, we learned to read them. In other words, we learned to track. The first letter of the first word of the first recorded story was written - printed - not by us, but by an animal. These signs and symbols left in mud, sand, leaves and snow represent proto-alphabets. These cryptograms were life and death exercises in abstract thinking."
I am drawn to these marks in the snow or grass. They become an inspiration for the simplest form of existence.
I begin to consider my own tracks. What marks do I make? What marks do I hope to make?
Every so often we hear the current
of night music
from the gods who swim and
fly as we once did.
– Jim Harrison
Solo Exhibition. Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, January–June 2012.