I recently visited London's Natural History Museum. There are 300+ taxidermy specimens in the museum, but no dodo bird! The dodo was killed off by Dutch sailors in 1681, and only remnants of dodo specimens have survived. We are not entirely certain what the dodo really looked like. An engraving by Sir Thomas Herbert,1634, shows the large beak and feet that we see later in an illustration by John Tenniel from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll wrote the classic in 1890, two hundred years after the last dodo walked on earth.
I began developing this series shortly after my visit to the museum. A number of my previous works feature animals that face extinction.The early drawn or etched renderings are all we have as reference for the dodo. It is sad to me that any creature faces elmination because of our lifestlye choices or ignorance. I hope that we begin to actively acknowledge and work to prevent climate change, and I hope that these works can remind us all to preserve and protect before it is too late.
Creating anthropomorphic characters is a big part of how I exercise my imagination. When I was young my mother took me to the local zoo often. This exposure to a wide variety of animals had a large impact on my daydreams. As an adult I found that I coped with the stress of life by doodling caricatures of my teachers or professors, often making them into animals. They weren't cruel renditions, just anthropomorphic and whimsical. This has carried over into my paintings, and this is a strong theme throughout my work. My Zoo Series encompasses all my non-frog animal works.
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"Book Smarts" ©2019, Alexandra Hall, All Rights Reserved
DODO Original Painting on Canvas (48"x36"x2")
"My imaginative spirit is born from the people who inspired me to dream, to see things differently and to live fearlessly. Every work is influenced by hundreds of little moments and extraordinary experiences. In my pieces I try to bring some whimsy into the mundane. It is my hope that I force my audience to exercise their imagination, that my works inspire conversation and that they evoke joy."