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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Crystal McBrayer

SPE Member since 2012
Member Chapter: Northwest

bird, bones, and other once-living things

I've always been an observer, learning from the world through careful study and slight remove. Birds, Bones, and Other Once-living Things grew out of observing the natural world around me while living in a cabin nestled in the woods of the Ozark mountains, surrounded by a wild world of overgrown trees, crazy poison ivy that stands up on its own like trees, wild creatures, and rich, rocky earth. Plants from last season’s garden decompose under the protection of the trees and remain as shells of the previous season’s harvest. Old bones and animals carcases are brought like trophies to my front yard by our two dogs. Birds crash into my living room windows and fall to the porch. A few escape rattled, but unharmed after gathering their composure in my daughter’s gentle hands. Most, however, take their last breath in those hands. All become simple and quiet discussions about life, death, and regeneration. These images are an attempt to capture those moments, to understand and observe this beautifully fragile life lived out in our woods.

Untitled Specimen #0533: Exhumed from Structure

Untitled #0608: Collection of Bone Specimens

Specimen #24: Artifact of Investigation

Specimen #49: Frost, White-Throated Sparrow

Specimen #003: Skull, artiodactyla order

Untitled Specimen #9403

Untitled Specimen #221: Wing


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