Birds of the World, a new work in progress / by Rachel Simmons

For the last few months, I’ve been carefully cutting out bird illustrations from “Birds of the World", a lavishli illustrated book originally published in 1961 by Golden Press (not Nat Geo as I say in the video). From tiny bird claws to long thin legs and scalloped feathers, I have been meticulous in my approach. I am removing the birds, but leaving the pages that held them intact so one can see the outline of what has been removed. The cutting stage mostly done, I’m now navigating the text of the book which lovingly describes the appearances and behaviors of birds from all across the globe. Since this book was published, many species of birds are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and the impacts of human-induced climate change. I believe this book project is going to be both a mediation of loss and an expression of hope, taking a cue from the recently released report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Here’s a quick video of the work in progress!