Bird Rabbit Snake.
Photographs by Randy West.
Randy West., 2003.
Numerous black & white illustrations., 7x9¾".
Randy West’s photographic series bird rabbit snake is a study of lines and shapes created by his deconstruction of a bird’s nest. In 2003 Mr.
West began using a scanner to record and examine closely the woven fibers of these architectural structures. The prints first appear to have no detail due to their high contrast. By using the digital scanner a shallow depth of field is achieved. Upon closer inspection the lines have gentle tones and shadows.
The portfolio of 31 images is divided into two sections. The first chapter titled Reconstruction shows the entire contents of the nest pulled apart and rearranged for inspection. After several images are created he builds or “reconstructs” new images by superimposing and layering one image onto another. The final image results in a dense black field. In the second chapter, Blades of Grass, the fibers are further separated. Here we see how individual lines have been formed by the bird’s original woven construction. These strands of grass are recorded as individual lines and are possibly read as calligraphic characters. When grouped the lines take on a representation of language.
Mr. West’s strategy is typical of his other photographic series where material and form is key to a study of a tactile subject. The title Bird Rabbit Snake comes from a poem written for a child describing the animals’ movements and lines created when engaging with each other and their natural world.
Randy West was born in Indianapolis in 1960 where he studied drawing and printmaking from Ball State University. He received his MFA in photography from California Institute of the Arts in 1986.
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