Falling Birds was developed during Helena’s Artquest Research Residency at The Horniman Museum and Gardens in London where she engaged in a series of durational writing encounters with extinct and endangered birds in the Natural History Collection.
This writing experimented with poetic language to materialise what it might mean to encounter extinct and endangered birds in this way, and to bring the museum specimens into contact with the broader context of environmental change and species depletion. During the residency Helena also worked in the conservation department where she photographed a series of x-rays of the birds she had been writing with.
The artworks from the residency include a series of film positive prints presented on lightboxes that combine fragments of poetic text with x-ray images of extinct and endangered birds in the collection. Helena also developed a performative work with projections, film, sound, spoken word and a foley film developed in collaboration with artist Mark Peter Wright. The performance traces the movements of the extinct passenger pigeon, highlighting alternative ‘natural’ histories of how the movements of birds and humans interconnect over time, and why these connections matter.
Falling Birds was presented at Ecofutures group exhibition Staring at the Sun in Mile End Pavilion and as part Re: Over everything which exists under the sky a collaborative and interdisciplinary project at Gasworks London.