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a populations resurgence

in 2007, my grandparents and i went to visit the elk in yakima. i have gone on many family trips over to eastern washington, but never before with just my grandparents or to see this herd. it was an unbelievable trip. the sparkle of the frost and the brilliance of the blue sky, the rocky brown of basalt and shrub-grass, and the steady walking of more and more elk coming out of the valley into the plain towards us is something not to be forgotten.

the story goes that the animals (as well as many others that depended on them as a food source) had been irradicated by hunting in the early 1900's and then recreated semi-recently from canadian and midwestern breeding. now they are many. many, and living in the largest agricultural area of washington. they, of course, were eating those crops and multiplying, causing conflict between the animal rights groups and the farmers. solutions were few, and all, to some degree, implied removing the species: exterminating or removing those who were literally made to be there. luckily, an experimental feeding program was devised so as to save crops.

to see 'wild animals' eating hay from the back of a truck during designated 'meal times' is rather tragic, but their potential demise was even more so.

upon hearing this story and documenting my experiences there, i wanted to create a work that not only highlighted their beauty as living things, but their life's temperance. for this i devised the following string installation: a mimic of their forms that, with one simple snip, could unravel into nothing.

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