|The publication In Absentia was
created as part of a project conceived by text/gallery. The Art of Lost Words requested all 41 participants to select a word
that has been, or is due to be, removed from the English
dictionary due to diminished usage.
||My choice, 'skirr' is defined as 'a whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight or to move rapidly, esp. with a whirring sound.'||There are two starting points to be considered:
1. The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is colloquially known as a ‘hush wing’ due to its ability to fly silently. Its feathers, unlike other birds, are peculiarly soft, trapping air within the feather’s surface and so reducing noise as it moves through the sky. This combined with the fact that the owl has large wings relative to its body weight, means it can fly at very slow speeds and dive at its prey unheard.
2. Some words have a life span. When a word is no longer
used, it is because the phenomena or concept that it describes occurs
infrequently or ceases to exist. Skirr is one of these words - on its
way out of oral usage. It sits with its toes dangling into silence. There,
yet not there. Illusive. A ghost-like presence on the periphery of vision,
of speech and of consciousness.
|In Absentia documents a journey in search of a visual and conceptual oxymoron: a silent skirr. This was a quest to photograph a Barn Owl in flight and to ‘hear’ the sound of its silent trajectory. The paradox of this absence - and even the futility of the task - reflects the suspended nature of skirr, a word left increasingly unuttered and in the dusk of its days.||In Absentia is a 24-page booklet documenting a two-fold journey: a physical journey through time and a visual representation of ideas surrounding the theme of absence in flight. It was printed in an edition of 200, in black and white, with 8 full-colour photographs tipped in. Each copy is signed and numbered.||To purchase copies, please go to Études ~ A Press.
Exhibited at: Universals, FAB, Bath; The Art of Lost Words, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth; The Art of Lost Words, The German Gymnasium, London
|The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||The sky from dusk to moon rise||In Absentia, the book|