2022 collage, watercolour, gouache, coloured pencil, marker 22”4, 18”w
The ivory-billed woodpecker was removed from the endangered species list and not for a good reason; it was thought to have gone extinct in the middle of the twentieth century. The last official sighting was in Cuba in 1986. The bird was rediscovered in the “Big Woods” region of eastern Arkansas in 2004 while identification of the species sighted is a hot debate topic amongst ornithologists.
The largest contributor to the collapse of the ivory-billed is habitat fragmentation and loss. The wooded area the bird once occupied extended from southern Florida to Ohio. Much of that forest was lost to logging. I show the cypress tree in fragments in my collage to comment on habitat loss.
In my depiction of the species, also known as the Lord G-d Bird or the Ghost Bird, I appropriate the well-known Audubon illustration (circa 1830) and show it in a partial state, as if the illustration is disappearing. Line drawings of the bird show partial states of being; connect the dots and paint by numbers, further illustrating the demise of the largest species of woodpecker in the New World.
- Hand colouring