Field Notes - The Reports of Seasoned Observers in 12 Chapters.
Field Notes, the Reports of Seasoned Observers - a series of works which draws on Rachel Carson's classic book Silent Spring. First published in the early 1960's, it's content remains as relevant today. The book raises awareness of the indiscriminate use of agricultural pesticides, and the impact on wildlife and the environment. This work evolved after reading her text, and several visits to Southend Museum. In conversation with the Museum staff, I was able to view their egg collections which are no longer on public display, but hidden away in the storeroom..
It was interesting to learn more about this contentious subject. I was made aware of the difficulties museums face surrounding the display of these old collections. Public attitudes have moved on and we now live in an age where environmental issues are rarely off the agenda. The days of egg collecting are over and in a move to protect birds it is illegal to remove or possess wild birds eggs. One of the concerns about displaying these beautiful objects is it will encourage egg collecting. However the collections now serve a valuable service in being able to tell scientists about the changes over the years. Comparisons between eggs today and the past have highlighted how much thinner their shells have become. The collections provide important data.
Using "over the counter" eggs, I have incorporated Rachel Carson's own words, and made the shells appear as if they are fossilised. In reference to the continued decline in bird populations, they have become a reminder of loss and the consequences of not paying attention.