I recently read Rachel Carson's ground breaking book Silent Spring. Controversial when first published in the 1960's it has gone on to become a classic. Rachel Carson , a marine biologist, spoke out about the use of agricultural pesticides and chemicals, and the consequences of indescriminate spraying. This was having a severe and in some cases devastating impact on wildlife and on humans. Her courage in speaking out inspired a grassroots enviromental movement that led to the creation of the US Enviromental Protection Agency. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national policy, and led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides.
It is striking how relevant her arguments remain today. Having finished the book I wanted to create a piece of work using her words. Staying with the book and altering it by a combination of folding and cutting, the book has become a sculptural piece. Random sentences stand forth from the main body of the text, highlighting various aspects of her argument and concerns. The silhouette of a crow rises from the centre of the book block. The crow represents death, but also becomes a symbol of life, of survival, saved by Carson's words. We all owe Rachel Carson a debt of gratitude.