My mother asked me, ‘If you were a bird what bird would you be?’ I’d be a Manx Shearwater, not necessarily because they look pretty (actually they look a bit bland) but they migrate very long distances and it is said that they travel eight million km during their lifetime. I love travelling and can never stay in one place too long, so I think I’d enjoy travelling as a Manx Shearwater.
Birds are the freest animals I know. Who hasn’t dreamt of flying, watching all the little people far below you, like ants, and being carried with the wind wherever you can, without needing to take out your passport at a bird checkpoint, and them saying ‘Sorry you don’t have access to this region.’
In the stateless series my birds represent that freedom, which I know in my heart of hearts is not real. My birds are already dead and kept behind glass. I wanted to take their portraits as if they were free citizens telling a fantasy story about their history. I hope they inspire people to think more about the bird-human connection.
My favourite picture at the moment has to be ‘Home’ by Steven Beckly a Canadian photo-based artist who also tries to tell stories with his work.