Birds – Animals – Plants
“ I already knew he was gone because there was a dead bird on the front porch this morning,” my mother shared with me after being told her brother had passed away”
The trilogy Post Vitam, explores decay and the brutal beauty of life and death though the representation of dead birds, animals and plants. My images convey the inevitability that they, like everything, eventually fade away, once again becoming one with the earth.
One day I found a dead bird in my garden. When I touched it, it still felt warm in my hands. I documented the first dead bird I discovered for over 18 months. I photographed the same bird over and over again, at different times of day, in different light conditions and during different seasons of the year. To me, it was important to revisit a bird or animal repeatedly as time decayed its small body.
The resulting images affected me profoundly, speaking to me of mythology, of death and serving as a reminder that many birds were important storytellers in Norwegian mythology. Birds represent purity but there is a darker side. Historically they were called trolls in folk tales and have long been considered evil spirits? People were warned that they should always burn their hair after cutting it to avoid birds obtaining it and inflicting pain on the owner.
Through photography, I find a connection between the passing of time and my own humanity and vulnerability that resonates within me. Water, which many of my photographs involve, can be viewed as a metaphor for the river of time that runs over the underworld, but also for the beauty, truth and finality of life.
By Einar Sira