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Work Samples

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Part of a series, a study of the detritus/gunk that collected on a window surface over several years. North Ave. Remnants of tape, posters, paint.

swan song

I'm fascinated by reflections and layer. This is part of my Baltimore walks series. Hampden.

Rt. 50 farmhouse

I used to only shoot black and white 35 mm. I've always explored remnants.

Lights Out Baltimore

In 2009, I began volunteering with Lights Out Baltimore (LOB), a bird conservation/citizen science/wildlife rescue organization. LOB seeks to make Baltimore safe for migratory birds by encouraging downtown buildings to turn off nonessential lighting during migration. Volunteers monitor collisions in the city during the spring and fall collecting fatalities and logging strike data--date/location/species--as well as transporting injured birds to a wildlife rehabilitator. The dead birds are donated to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum to be used for research or museum specimens.

Since 2010, I have taken photographs of several of the fatalities we've collected. I think of them as portraits honoring the loss of individuals and this intention has been influenced by memorial photography.

As many as a billion birds are dying annually in the United States from building collisions. Songbirds and shorebirds that migrate at night to avoid predators navigate by the moon and starlight, as well as the earth's magnetic field.
Disorienting light pollution, bright white and yellow light, attracts birds into urban environments where they encounter a maze of invisible barriers, glass. Birds perceive the world differently than we do. The songbirds that we often find have less depth perception and their eyes are placed more laterally. Windows either show what appears to be a clear pathway or a reflective surface that looks real. Only by breaking up large panes of glass with designs that follow a 2" horizontally or 4" vertically oriented rule, can we achieve bird-friendly glass. It's generally the first thirty feet from the ground upward that is problematic.

I hope to inspire bird-friendly building design.

Bird/Glass Collision solutions 2015/16

Lights Out Baltimore (cont.) bird/glass collision awareness

In the past two years, I continued my studies of avian strike victims advocacy. I had solo art shows and curated art shows that addressed the bird/glass collision issue. I gave numerous talks at campuses, galleries, a bird conservation conference, women's groups, and bird clubs. I realized I wanted to push forward with the project and find solutions. I began incorporating bird-safe window film cut-outs in my shows. That led to invitations to treat windows at a national wildlife refuge visitor center, an elementary school, and a wildlife rehabilitation center. A 4th grade Lego League team championed the cause and with my mentorship won a regional competition and is taking the project to state. Here are some of the windows I treated as well as new window film designs. The 2"x4" rule has been implemented. Birds will not fly in between spaces that are 2" or less horizontally oriented or 4" or less vertically oriented.

Also included here are some of the glass environments we find birds in during our monitoring of downtown Baltimore during spring and fall migration.

  • George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology Solo Show window treatment

    Cut-outs of bird-safe window film CollideEscape. Thirteen species of birds represented from the ninety-nine species we've found monitoring bird collisions in downtown Baltimore.
  • bird-safe window treatment, George Mason University, Unfriendly Skies II exhibition

    I drew the shapes from the birds we'd collected from downtown Baltimore. Bird collisions are a problem everywhere. I drew the shapes, made templates, and then cut-out the shapes from CollidEscape window film and American Bird Conservancy Tape. This window is now bird-safe.
  • Unfriendly Skies II exhibition, George Mason University

    A window treatment of bird-safe window film cut-outs, American Bird Conservancy tape and CollidEscape film.
  • Baltimore Convention Center, bird collision glass study--reflectivity

    This demonstrates a reflective surface that a bird would perceive as real habitat. We find more window strike collision victims here than at any other location downtown. It's an alcove with glass on two sides and a garden on the other. It's different levels and birds get trapped in the cramped area and hit the glass. The convention center works with Lights Out Baltimore to minimize strikes. My small message to the birds includes a symbolic red stop light reflected in the glass.
  • Baltimore Convention Center, glass study--clear pathway

    Birds see the world differently than we do. They perceive this as a clear pathway, but I'm shooting through two walls of glass in this study. The exit signs are an ironic commentary. The convention center participates with Lights Out Baltimore to minimize collisions by turning off seven key lights during migration--this helps reduce numbers.
  • 20 South Charles St. glass study--clear pathway

    Here is another Baltimore building that birds hit frequently. This demonstrates a clear pathway to birds, but the photo shows that I'm shooting through two walls of glass. In the background, a banner reads, "Imagine the Possibilities." 20 South Charles is working with Lights Out Baltimore to minimize collisions.
  • 100 Light St., glass study--clear pathway

    Again, I'm shooting through multiple layers of glass and birds would perceive this as a clear pathway. We find many birds at this location. In the background, a cafe called "Nature's Table."
  • Flight Risk, solo show, Sandbox Initiative

    My first window treatment using hand cut-outs from bird-safe CollidEscape window film.
  • Flight Risk, solo show, Sandbox Initiative, Washington College

    Interior effect of bird-safe window film CollidEscape.
  • window film designs

    Here are four window designs that I've been commissioned to make for a wildlife refuge visitor center. They will be laser cut and the silhouette patterns applied to a colored bird-safe window film. It will be applied to the glass in time for spring 2017 migration.

the boat that Skip built

Here on the top of a mountain in the Alleghenys sits a boat in a house.

Uncle Olin took us to see the boat. We hopped into his pickup for a slow, steep ride. At this altitude, the trees are thin, but thick with lichen. We startled a wild turkey and a pileated woodpecker. At a declivity a good ways up, we found a high meadow bisected by a stream. Beavers were busy here with lodges and dams. Yellow and chestnut-sided warblers and common yellowthroats sang. A willow flycatcher gave a spirited “fitz-bew” and a yellow-billed cuckoo said “cowp.” Here sat a two-story old farmhouse going to ruin. In the seventies, a “hippie feller” moved in, Skip. He was handy and inventive. Winters were harsh, but local folks took care of him. One day he decided to build a boat in the house. In the house. He made a lathe out of an old chain saw motor held in place by plaster, a bicycle, and other things. He started pulling wood off of the structures at hand including the pig barn. When it was finished, the boat was a thing of beauty. Joinery. No nails, but trenails or dowels. No one knows why he built the boat in the house. He was pulled over in Tennessee and shot when the police thought he was reaching for a gun. There the boat sits in the house, stumbled upon by abandoned house explorers and joy riders. Some inconsiderate soul had spray-painted it; others had stolen bits and pieces from it including the steering wheel. Someone had started pulling the wall out in an attempt to steal it, but there it sits as yet, heavy as hell.

We wind on down the mountain and stop at the general store in Blue Grass. We grab a couple of sandwiches and sit on the front porch. Herman Puffenbarger stops with us. He’s eating powdered sugar donuts. He knew Skip and tells us stories about him. Skip had bought a $3 used lawnmower and attached the motor to his bicycle. He traveled back and forth across the country on it. He traveled to Florida in ten days. He called Herman when he arrived, knowing he would be worried after that trouble in South Carolina. Skip was once arrested for not wearing a helmet and put in jail for a month since he couldn’t pay the fine.

Skip once rigged up a homemade sawmill, but no one else knew how to cut true with it.

Centre Theater

After winning the Baker Prize, I happily went and bought a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. My first jaunt with it was to the Centre Theater, then under renovation. The camera turned out to be defective, but I've come to love these photographs regardless. We were shooting in pitch black without any lights available. We kept stumbling into remnants.

Pots and Pans

I am a white woman. As an Black Lives Matter ally, I attended three protests following Freddie Gray's death. One of them was the Pots and Pans March. I struggled with the question of my own relevance in the face of these events in Baltimore. Paraphrasing No Boundaries, “the voices of those most directly affected by this on-going crisis should be heard.” I felt that my response as a human being, my humanity, required my support as well as being a witness.

It was important to document the events on Friday. It had only been a few hours since we’d received the news that six officers had been charged. The mood of the protesters was exultant.

bound and marked

These are images from walks I've taken through Baltimore's streets and alleys. I find compositions, I do not arrange them, except in the viewfinder of my camera.

"The term desmoid originates from the Greek word "desmos", meaning band or tendon-like and was first applied in the 1800s to describe tumors with a tendon-like consistency." These tumors bind the connective tissues. They knot into themselves and pull the body's structures out of alignment. They mutilate and sometimes they kill. My desmoid tumors have come out of remission. I think of how these tumors have marked my flesh. I think of the many tissue stains that have gone into verifying my diagnosis. I look at the cellular structure of the tumors. I find these forms in structures around me.

For me, these images represent the new constraints my body is experiencing, the shape of the disease. Things unravel for us all at times and we patch together our lives as best we can. Nonetheless, we can find beauty in the worst moments. Beauty. My own disfigurement prompts me to find it in unexpected places. We can hope that such consideration causes us to reflect and gain understanding and empathy. I hope it compels us to accept one another.

musing relics

I have long been fascinated by the multiple orientations afforded by wonder cabinets, and I have been much inspired by Kurt Schwitters' exquisitely composed refuse, Joseph Cornell's theatrical boxes and Louise Nevelson's assembled abstracts. I collect found objects and play with their reactability in the studio/laboratory, intrigued both by what they disclose and by the investigation of infinitesimal qualities, Duchamp's inframince.

As a child, I explored the unfamiliar and forgotten objects cluttered in my parents' drawers. Many afternoon hours were spent guessing at their practical usage, often as not imagining unlikely ones and imbuing them with life. The fountain pen nibs, defunct cigarette lighters, sewing machine parts and broken jewelry were my "plastic animals." My father's horological tools were especially evocative, later I was entranced with his beautiful landscape designs. I read mythology with my brother Bob and appropriated the notion of composite beasts.

Contained within my pieces are vessels and aberrant anatomies, seemingly disparate objects enthralled by shared qualities. Contrasting textures compliment or irritate, there are harmonies and tensions. The life of objects reflects our own desires, sensuality and procreation and also what might be tangled, corroded or broken within. Process and transformation are revealed in decay, there are revelries to be found in dust.

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About Lynne

Lynne Parks was born and raised in Northern Virginia. She has been a resident of Baltimore, MD since 2003. She has a BA from Hollins University with an independent major in creative writing/theater/film studies. She is employed by Enoch Pratt Free Library and volunteers for Lights Out Baltimore. She is... more

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