Birds of America

The 'Birds of America' project was inspired by the massive oil spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 with its disastrous effect on the wetland habitats in the Gulf of Mexico - and by Alke's discovery, in a box of old prints, of a nearly complete set of pages from a reprint of John James Audubon's famous illustrated book "The Birds of America". Noticing how many of the featured birds breed or winter in the areas affected by the oil spill, she overpainted the prints with the outline shapes of the spill on different days of the disaster. The main sources of the spill outlines were the (U.S.) National Audubon Society and the Times Picayune (New Orleans). 

"History of a Curious Incident...." is a 42 -piece archive of birds and spills. For the exhibitions at The Stone Space (2012) and PontArte (2020), the pieces were chronologially arranged in two blocks. Images of all 42 pieces in sequence are published on the PontArte website.

'Birds of America' also includes a number of individually framed overpainted prints, pictured further along in this web gallery.

History of a Curious Incident In The Gulf Of Mexico - Part 1 (2012) Enamel paint on found prints 94 x 123 cm Installation view in SPILL exhibition at the Stone Space.

press to zoom

History of a Curious Incident In The Gulf Of Mexico Part 2 (2012) Enamel paint on found prints 154 x 116 cm Installation view in SPILL exhibition at the Stone Space

press to zoom

History of a Curious Incident in the Gulf of Mexico - Part 2 Detail: Willet/Oil Spill 13 June 2010 Enamel on found print 22 x 30 cm

press to zoom

Water Turkey / Oil Spill 19 May 2010 (2011) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found print 22 x 30 cm

press to zoom

Songsparrow / Oil Spill 2 June 2010 (2010) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found print 22 x 30 cm Private collection

press to zoom

White-eyed Vireo / Oil Spill 9 June 2010 (2010) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found print 22 x 30 cm

press to zoom

Sharp-tailed Sparrow / Oil Spill 12 June 2010 (2010) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found print 22 x 30 cm

press to zoom

Blacknecked Stilt / Oil Spill 2 June 2010 (2011) Enamel paint, acrylic and pencil on found print 30 x 30 cm Private collection

press to zoom

White Pelican / Oil Spill 11 May 2010 (2011) Enamel paint on found print 34 x 43 cm Private collection

press to zoom

Seaside Sparrow / Composite Oil Spill 11 May to 11 June 2010 (2011) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found prints 54 x 40 cm Private collection

press to zoom

Wetland Birds / Composite Oil Spill 8 May to 8 July 2010 (2010) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found prints 54 x 40 cm Private collection

press to zoom

Wetland Birds II / Composite Oil Spill 11 May to 11 June 2010 (2010) Enamel paint, acrylic & pencil on found print 72 x 54 cm

press to zoom