In homage to Rachel Carson, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Kate and Chatham University student volunteers created an installation of an eagle’s nest. Corey, the art professor had collected lots of deadwood from the campus with one of his students, and together the artist and students built the nest slightly cantilevered off the ground. The two Raku eggs rest in the center of soft leaves and twigs; and inside the cracked egg are Rachel Carson’s words:
“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably
a war against himself.”
WHY THE NEST?
I conceived this piece as an eagle’s nest built on the ground, so viewers could look in at the eggs without climbing a tree. At 8 feet, it is double a life-sized eagle’s nest. A nest is:
A building for the next generation.
A sign of hope.
This nest is a message of hope for a new generation to take care of our environment.
Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, raised awareness of the dangers to wildlife and humans of indiscriminate spraying of poisonous DDT. Eagles, being a top predator, concentrated the chemical in their bodies, and they and their eggs suffered. Their population plummeted to only 21 nesting pairs in 1970 in Maine where I live. Since the ban on DDT in 1972 following the furor caused by Carson’s book, eagles have rebounded, and been removed from the Endangered List.
WHAT ABOUT THE EGGS?
I formed the eggs by hand and fired them using an ancient Japanese method called Raku. One of the eggs is whole, the other cracks open to reveal messages on vellum, quotes from Rachel Carson, e.g., ” But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself. ” RACHEL CARSON 1907-1964.
This installation was made by the artist and Chatham student volunteers on Saturday, September 22, 2012. It is part of the exhibit in the gallery, diagonally across from this site, and will remain there until the show ends, November 15, 2012.