Warning Call of the Crows, Watercolor and graphite, 2020
(I envisioned Endangered as an exhibition about our disconnection from nature and the inevitable tragic outcome, a continuation of Seton’s warnings. The invited artists created a variety of responses. Intended for the walls of the Seton Gallery, the show is presented in a series of blog postings. Images and text copyright belong to the individual artists. dlw)
In his story of “Silverspot” Seton presented a glossary of crow vocalizations in the form of musical notation. He prefaced this by writing, “Crows are, as you must know, our most intelligent birds…Crows know the value of organization, and are as well drilled as soldiers, crows are always on duty, and always depend on each other for life and safety.” In his daily interaction with a particular flock in Toronto, he noted their calls for “Be on your guard,” when they saw him, “Danger” when they saw him with a raised walking stick, and “Great danger, scatter for your lives” when they spotted a hunter with a gun.
I have not asked Emma Felt to explain this work to me, but what I see is life and death riding on the wind, flow, break in the flow of nature. Exhilarating, heartbreaking by turns, the very heart of Endangered. More of her imagery can be found on Instagram.
I have included Emma’s own words about her artwork, borrowed from her website.
Emma Felt Statement About Her Work
I try to capture the wonder and whimsy of the natural world in my artwork. The unknown can be surprising and just as spectacular as the organic forms we can see. New juxtapositions make what’s different between elements more apparent but also allow for the contemplation of what makes them the same. I use traditional technical botanical skills and techniques to root my subjects to some reality, to let what is different about the work stand out. By using watercolor and graphite, I can make my visions crisp, classic, and just as my mind’s eye envisioned the pieces to be. Other mediums, like quilting, trade some clarity for greater contemplation on the part of the viewer. Vast white space becomes a clean surface for examination and meditation, allowing for a more focused perception of the subject. I want to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully at the world around them and wonder what could be hiding just under the surface. But perhaps more importantly, I want people to share the empathetic tone between elements in my art with those around them.