Bonus Karma: Colleen Plumb’s “Animals Are Outside Today”

Bonus karma: credit for effort that is over and above and aside course requirements, often referred to as “extra credit.”

This came up only sporadically in class on Thursday and Friday, so here’s a reminder to get to the March 4 reception for the exhibition at the place called Brushwood, in Riverwoods. I suspect it’s a venue not unlike the Wauconda Ansel show. Travel east on Lake-Cook Road, past Milwaukee Avenue; turn left on Portwine to its end, left on Riverwoods to the Ryerson Conservation Area.

Ms. Plumb’s artist’s statement says, in part: “…Henry Beston stated regarding animals in his book, The Outermost House: ‘They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.’

“Contradictions define our relationships with animals. We love and admire them; we are entertained and fascinated by them; we take our children to watch and learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history—evident in our stories, rituals and symbols. At the same time, we eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them, and their images, in countless ways.

“Our connection to animals today is often developed through assimilation and appropriation; we absorb them into our lives, yet we no longer know of their origin…  This series moves within these contradictions, always questioning if the notion of the sacred, and the primal connection to Nature that animals convey and inspire, will survive alongside our evolution.”

In this particular case, don’t read the Reader (nor do the wind, the sun, or the rain) so you won’t witness the indignity of the review’s senseless link to an article about a good restaurant’s serving of pigtails. I may have noticed this because I may be ADHD (“Look! A bird!”).