Sydney Howard

Bird Song


When I was young, my mother taught my sister and me a whistle call to find each other if we ever became separated. As a child, I used it often; today, we still use it, but not nearly as frequently. This form of communication, originally devised as a protective measure, metaphorically explores the dynamics of intimacy and disconnection within a family amidst generational trauma. 
Trauma can be found on the body, the psyche as well as in traces in the home and landscape. I am preoccupied by the ways trauma can turn into mythos within a family. I am consciously making work that employs a magpie approach to image making: combining elements of portraiture, landscape, interiors and wildlife to portray an intimate and chimeric form of trauma. Through manipulated photographs, video installation and sound Bird Song explores the complexities of familial relationships, creating an unsettling yet contemplative space.


/An%20old%20abandoned%20house%20surrounded%20by%20a%20dug%20out%20constuction%20site /A%20woman%20in%20her%20mid-50s%20sat%20in%20a%20dimly%20lit%20dining%20room.%20Her%20shadow%20projected%20onto%20the%20wall%20behind%20her.%20 /A%20staircase%20leading%20up%20to%20the%20second%20floor%20of%20a%20house.%20 /a%20darkroom-processed%20photogram%20print.%20Antique%20lace%20with%20an%20embroidered%20bird%20sitting%20on%20a%20branch. /two%20glowing%20lights%20emerging%20from%20the%20woods%20at%20night%20near%20the%20shoreline%20of%20a%20lake /a%20young%20woman%20looking%20down%20while%20climbing%20a%20large%20tree. /a%20darkroom-processed%20photogram%20print.%20Antique%20lace%20draped%20on%20the%20page /shadows%20from%20a%20nearby%20tree%20projected%20onto%20the%20back%20of%20a%20woman%20in%20her%20mid-50%27s.


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