Predator and Prey Dynamics.

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February 2014
SOLD
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One of my favorite thrift store picks was a rather well-worn and storied vintage owl print in a custom-made wooden frame. The print appeared to be some mass-marketed thing (the artist’s name is “Brad” in case you were wondering) featuring an owl (possible Athena nocta, the little owl). The colors had faded to softer earth tones, and I wanted to play with those hues more, so I decoupaged some scraps of pages from an outdated textbook concerning the dynamics between predators and prey, staining them with coffee and then brown sidewalk chalk.

For more 3D effect, I added two sprigs of fake flowers in deep browns and golds to match the foliage on the print, and arranged a glycerin-preserved rhododendron twig along on the of the branches in the print that looked quite like it. For finishing touches, I suspended a vintage resin owl charm in the upper right corner, and in the lower left I added a small pile of real mouse and other rodent jaws and teeth from owl pellets.

This piece is meant to evoke that interplay between predator and prey which drives so much of evolution–the prey evolves to be faster, sneakier, multiply faster, while the predator evolves to be a swifter and more effective hunter. What started as a fairly serene (if a bit outdated) bit of wall decoration is now transformed into a quiet moment in the life of a successful hunter who drives the prey to be ever better and effective. The mostly secondhand materials and the owl pellet bones are a reminder that nature is efficient, and we too should become more streamlined in our use of resources.

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