Flight Paths, 2011
Migrating birds travel awe-inspiring distances. Scientists theorize that they rely on memory, the stars, the sun, or even the earth’s magnetic field to find their way. Diagrams of their flight paths look like global-scale, bird-made drawings. The migration of the Sooty Shearwater is particularly remarkable. These birds travel nearly 40,000 miles a year, from the waters south of New Zealand to Japan, Alaska, and back. Mating pairs fly in great figure eights across the Pacific Ocean.
These flyways appeal to my fascination with patterns and processes. Avian migratory designs are incorporated into these drawings, as well as iconic bird imagery from history. These are juxtaposed with the more linear patterns of contemporary human air travel. The project re-ignited my appreciation for occurrences happening in the natural world, often unnoticed, all the time.