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Silent Spring

Created by Kristie Atwood


Altered book with sculpted resting nest.


Copy of The Silent Spring by Rachael Carson.

Found objects.

Mica window panes.

Branches of willow and mesquite tied with copper wire.

Metal Brads.

“Silent Spring” is inspired by Rachel Carson’s book. It addresses the idea of science, and how it can be both a tool for good but also one for great destruction. It is science after all and the over use of pesticides, that inspired Carson to write Silent Spring. When thinking out this piece, I was thinking very much of those huge glass cases from the Victorian era filled with butterflies and beetles, bats and birds, stuffed tigers.  They were at the height of the industrial revolution and it was already causing great destruction to people and the planet, yet there were still so many places that were wild and unexplored.  Their way of seeing that fragility was to kill it, put under glass, and in a museum, so it would be saved for future generations. It was also, in a strange way, a way to honor nature. The displays are beautiful and haunting. I intended for “Silent Spring” to work in a similar way, putting behind mica the things that are at risk not only in Carson’s time but now. It’s an homage to her for her courage - for standing up and putting so much work into it. Carson was dying of cancer as she completed and promoted the book.  It was that important to her.

I should mention that all the creatures, feathers and such in the piece were found as is, not taken.



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