Chicago-based photographer Colleen Plumb believes that there is an increasing disconnection between humans and the natural world. She probes the relationship of humans and animals in this series of photographs depicting animals in different states of being.
Amish horses in the snow, roasted pig, birds in flight, taxidermy bears, even an eagle on a brand’s truck; Colleen Plumb has been capturing photos of animals within the human biome for over a decade now, in an attempt to show our staggering coexistence with them.
“I began this project in 1997 looking at ‘fake nature’, wondering what substitutions for nature can satisfy in people. Looking deeper I began photographing real animals and how they can be a link for us to a world far from the reality and pace of contemporary life, as well as provide an intangible link to a deeper world of instinct and rawness,” Plumb told Jen Bekman.
She explores simulation, consumption, destruction, and reconstruction as well as notions of endurance and the reality of loss.
Photos by Colleen Plumb
In her statement for Animals Are Outside Today, Plumb cites:
In 1928, Henry Beston stated regarding animals in his book, The Outermost House: “They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.” Animals Are Outside Today is a journey examining underneath this net, offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals and consider the multi-layered impact humans have on other living beings.
Contradictions define our relationships with animals. We love and admire them; we are entertained and fascinated by them; we take our children to watch and learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history—evident in our stories, rituals and symbols. At the same time, we eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them, and their images, in countless ways.
Visit Colleen Plumb to find out more about her work.