Mental Floss
ART

Crocheted Costumes That Make Pigeons Look Like Extinct Species

Shaunacy Ferro
facebooktwitterreddit

When it comes to envisioning what extinct species looked like, we don’t have much to go on outside of a select few museums with skeletons and reconstructed models. But now, one artist is giving us a whole new way to look at long-gone birds like the dodo or passenger pigeon. 

California-based artist Laurel Roth Hope is a former park ranger and conservationist who creates detailed costumes that make ordinary urban pigeons look like birds that no longer soar through the skies, Boing Boing reports. Her Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons create doll-like representations of birds most have never seen. (The pigeons in the photos are hand-carved mannequins, though, so don't worry about the poor bird that has to don a dead relative's outfit.)

“Inspired by the traditional use of fiber-craft to provide safety and comfort,” she writes in her description of the project, “I have been crocheting small suits for urban pigeons that disguise them as extinct birds, thereby (visually) re-creating biodiversity and placing a soothing ‘cozy’ on environmental fears.”

The costumes depict birds that went extinct both recently and centuries ago. The last dodos famously disappeared in the 17th century. The last passenger pigeon, a bird named Martha that lived at the Cincinnati Zoo, died in 1914. (Hope’s work was featured in the Smithsonian’s 2014 exhibition The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art, held during the centennial of Martha’s death.) The heath hen, a grassland species that has been the subject of recent de-extinction efforts in Martha’s Vineyard, went extinct in 1932.

Carolina Parakeet, 2009
Carolina Parakeet, 2009 /
Heath Hens, 2014
Heath Hens, 2014 /
Passenger Pigeon II, 2014
Passenger Pigeon II, 2014 /
From left: Bachman's Warbler, Cuban Red Macaw, Mauritius Blue Pigeon, 2015
From left: Bachman's Warbler, Cuban Red Macaw, Mauritius Blue Pigeon, 2015 /
Paradise Parrot and Guadalupe Caracara, 2013
Paradise Parrot and Guadalupe Caracara, 2013 /

Unfortunately, as she writes on her site, the patterns for the bird suits aren't available to share, so you can't make your own stuffed dodo.

[h/t Boing Boing]

facebooktwitterreddit