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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. These were shown in the Natural Histories exhibition at the Eagle Gallery (2011).

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