Sallie Wolf

Nest/Egg 1
found materials in muffin tin

Nests are secret places, usually hidden from view. They are the cradle of new life, sacred spaces. We think of home and security when we think of “nesting.” But nests are vulnerable, fragile, ephemeral. Nests on display are misplaced. The secret outside has been brought inside and made public. What is secret, sacred, has been laid bare for cold, scientific examination.

I think of Nest/Egg as drawings, but drawings made with unconventional materials. As I worked, I was thinking about Victorian amateur naturalists and the collections they made and displayed in their homes.

I gathered these materials on my daily walks, but I was often fooled by man-made materials—trash—that appeared to be birds’ eggs and turned out to be chewing gum or chalk or Styrofoam packing chips. “Pseudo-eggs,” I call them. The muffin tin offered a grid, an organization, to hold the nests and pseudo-nests. For the first “drawing” I chose fortune cookie fortunes as labels—from a distance they imply an order and a seriousness of purpose that belong to the scientific study of eggs and nests. But on closer examination they convey a whimsy and humor appropriate to the pseudo-nests and eggs.

(All materials were found on the ground, abandoned, and no active nest or egg was harmed to produce this artwork.)

© Sallie Wolf