Thursday, January 21, 2010

ICE # 9 Ironic

International Collage Exchange
Series: Chain reaction
Titile ICE 2010 # 9: Ironic

Teasel linocut printed on serviette using  my H.A.T method, thread, handmade paper (white) and handmade paper using onion and tea dye pulp, recycled book text and image, paper scrap.

I really enjoyed making this collage. The textures are beautiful to touch and I really enjoyed stitching it, each stitch being a process of theraputic mark-making and not simply a functional way to hold it all together. The bird featured in this collage is a Sparrowhawk. Beautiful, skillful Hawks similar to Peregrine Falcons. Sparrowhawks prey primarly on small birds like sparrows, thrushes, finches and quail but they're also capable of hunting bigger birds such as pigeons and partridges.
Humans have long had a love/hate relationship with the Sparrowhawk. Their feeding habbits have made them unpopular with many humans, particulary poultry farmers who have blamed the loss of chicks on the Sparrowhawk and with Pigeon racers who fear the loss of birds during races. Studies have shown that while Sparrowhawks can and will take these birds they're not as 'guilty' as first thought- but that hasn't improved their popularity within certain circles! Studies have also shown that humans are responsible for more Sparrowhawk deaths than the hawk is for chicken or pigeon deaths.
It was for this reason I titled the collage "Ironic." It's ironic that humans can dislike a bird for it's natural predatory nature when we are actually more of a threat to songbirds, farm birds and many other families of birds than the Sparrowhawk ever will be! Dislike of the Sparrowhawk has led to hunting them to reduce their numbers and attempts at relocating the birds to more 'suitable' homes. It's also ironic that those who breed birds (who eventually become our own meals) can dislike another bird for much the same thing!  many have failed  to realise is that Sparrowhawks are an asset to our environment, helping to keep populations of fruit/crop /insect loving birds at healthy levels and maintaining natures natural balance. When we take the Sparrowhawk out of the equation the chain reaction is that of increased populations of other bird species resulting in the need to seek solutions to deal with them. We also resort the use of chemicals to deal with increased populations of the 'pest' insects the smaller birds prey on. Ironic isn't it?

We're going away for a family wedding in a few days so this will be my last post for a wee while. I'm hoping to do a virtual tour of the globe first and I will (of course!) be looking forward to seeing what you've all been up too when I get back! 
Oh, and last but not least! Please follow the new  "Barter Circle" badge on my sidebar to Debrina's blog she's got a the beginnings of a great project going on over there and it's worth the click:)

Take care and happy creating!


Lisa said...

such a beautiful collage...i really like the yellow illustration of the sparrowhawk. i think they are an interesting bird as they appear to have such long legs compared to other raptors.
have a great time at your family wedding!

La Dolce Vita said...

gorgeous collage and your textures are beautiful. I am in love with the blank circle as if it is a target for your hawk. I live at the edge of a pasture and to me the hawk keeps the rodent population down, so I love to watch them swoop and hunt. enjoy yourself at the wedding!

Mick said...

It was one of those moments for me as regards the stitching being mark making rather than just process. Brilliant! Why dinnae I think o'that!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Enjoy your time away Lisa. I love your book - I think the real secret of how good it looks lies in the hand made paper surface which gives it such texture.

Poetic Artist said...

I really like this collage. The hand made paper and the texture. Wonderful.

Debrina said...

If I had a totem animal - the hawk would be it. Funny how you bring up the loss of chickens and pigeons, I don't know if you remember but juvenile native hawks made a splash here in the news because they were trying out their skills on them. Oh dear - luckily, the coverage didn't backfire (thank goodness). People seem to have a bit more leniency if the bird of prey is endangered.
I would love to actually touch this particular collage, Lisa (maybe I will if one of our collages happen to get partnered through Dale!).

layers said...

so true-- the hawk represents strength and predator and I don't like them hanging around my bird feeder-- but they are part of nature too. your collage is beautiful

Anni's Art said...

Very very beautiful collage, like the handmade paper and everything on it.

Joy Logan said...

What an amazing earthy book you did!

Anonymous said...

I like how you so reverently described your stitching, as in enjoying every bit of it. What beauty, I could imagine the actual creation of this piece from reading your words. You give your work such value when describing it so, nice work!

I appreciate knowing more about the plight of the Sparrowhawk, and fully agree with your assessment of how humans deal with the world they are a part of. It is changing, however, as more of us wake up. Work like yours helps that healing to happen.

John M. Mora said...

I love raptors - they have a very tough life and any that survive do so by genetics, luck, skill and experience. They take out the weak and that is what Darwin saw was at work in nature.

Your collage does them justice.

Remember all the chicken jokes, mum?

Piece on earth and a drumstick to man (breast and thigh sounded smutty and you have a classy readership).

Anonymous said...

such a beautiful collage, lisa! it's gorgeous -- sparrowhawks are so beautiful! i bet it is wonderful to touch indeed!! i'm trying to make time to do ICE too, though haven't committed just in case i don't have the time in the end. i'm a cheater.

are you home yet?

notmassproduced said...

this is a lovely collage and an interesting story behind it. I do love your work :o)

ArtPropelled said...

Thought I had left a comment here .....I keep on doing that!
Anyway, I love this one and the message behind it. The poor old sparrowhawke still getting a bad rap but its great to hear that opinion is changinging. I'll never forget visiting a farm (in my late teens)with a new boyfriend when a sparrowhawke swooped low over the field we were walking through. Next second he had shot it before my eyes and very proud of it too. I was mortified! Seeing my reaction, his pride turned to dismay and apparently it was the last raptor he ever shot. At that time people shot sparrowhawkes at every opportunity but I'm happy to say this has changed.