Awhile back I posted digital images I worked over along with some thoughts on over development. Since then, I have decided to expand on the theme and construct an actual physical piece. The Fallen pays tribute to all creatures that are victims of over development but I continued to use the image of the toad. I choose a triple panel structure that is reminiscent of alter pieces and deliberately used a house shape as the panel format. I repeated the use of the red outline of the toads’ bodies as I did with the digital images. If you did not see the original post with the digitally reworked images, you can see that here .
Walking around my neighborhood last summer, I regularly noticed many strangely flattened shapes along the road. Upon closer inspection, these shapes turned out to be toads that were run over by cars. One day, while standing in one spot, I counted four toads that had been run over within a small radius of where I stood.
When I describe my “neighborhood”, it is important to know that I do not live along a highway or even a regular street but an apartment complex. My apartment complex, and the surrounding four shopping centers and medical complex, were not here as little as ten years ago. Behind my apartments are a creek and greenway where it is typical to see many birds, groundhogs, deer, raccoons, and (very recently) an otter. Not very long ago, where I live was a very rural area that has turned into a massive suburban sprawl.
I found myself needing to record the demise of these creatures. Art is not always a comfortable, beautiful subject. It is also meant to shake people up a bit. Though I photographed many toads, I decided that less is more so I am presenting just two images in tribute to these fine creatures we have displaced.