Patterns of Extinction was conceived as a series of works derived from a 1907 book titled ‘Extinct Birds’ by Walter Rothschild. This was an attempt to unite in one volume the birds which have become extinct in historical times or were on the verge of extinction. Through this volume I perceived a possible link to the act of cessation. In my work, a united pattern converges on the shadowy profile of extinct or endangered birds that rest upon found CSR sugar sacks. Sir Edward Knox, founded CSR in 1855 and named the nineteenth century mansion that he had built in woollahara, Sydney, ‘Fiona’ which translates as ‘pure white’. What exactly does that mean? Furthermore, why would an Aristocrat like Walter Rothschild be interested in compiling a volume on extinct birds?
Are the acts of CSR responsible for the extinction of species? Was Sir Edward Knox aware of his actions as the founder of CSR? What is the cause and effect of such a business and for those involved? My methodology involves the collation of objects, images or cultural artifacts that I accumulate from our physical and/or conceptual environments; often as remnants. Why did these CSR sugar sacks appear to me? What a mystery.
In this series the found CSR sugar bags are stretched upon dismantled timber shipping crates that were also located on the streets of Sydney. They are transformed into patterned documents. Species extinction, is presented here through its very absence; its shadow. The pattern, the articles, the painterly appearance is disarmingly deceptive.
Patterns of Extinction is also part of an ongoing contemplation on the mystery of status, high vs low, life and death. Is it all just an accident?