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I’ve always felt exhibitions have always failed to convey their value. Superficially at least. Through engagement, as they are designed, their message can be appreciated.

Divided in two, Natural Selection — though only focused on birds — contains the bright and fun aspect of bird nest building on the ground floor, while burying the dark side of egg collecting in the underbelly. This theme is continued in the environment housing both parts. Upstairs is approachable and clean, even with the addition of real bark filling the space with its aroma, cannot compare to the piercingly hollow and dangerous feeling of what’s below.

In both spaces is a video playing, though, upstairs it’s at the end of the room, below it’s at the beginning of the walk. Narrated by a talking crow, a symbol of death, the film speaks to the evil and addictive world of rare bird egg collecting. Exponential growth in this field, to the detriment of the objectified birds, is a theme carried into the visuals of the film itself. Each scene panning to the right or opening its view. A constant theme of progression, though the subject matter highlighting the regressive nature of our habitats. All throughout a single crow sits high on a shelf behind my right shoulder.

A hollowness fills the space, empty shelves lining each wall, in an uncared for space. Padlocked doors dotted around, though probably unintentional, introduce a methaphorical nuance to the themes expressed in the exhabition.

Rather than seven years of bad luck, guess some birds have a lifetime.