The Bering Sink

Seventy sculpted ‘dead’ clay birds lay on the floor while some were submerged under water. Due to a chemical reaction with water, fragments starting falling off the submerged birds, and slowly over time they continued to disintegrate and take a new form. Each day of the installation, the number of birds decreased due to the reaction of the water fragmenting the clay but also reflecting the reality of the loss of bird species globally. A pre-recorded audio tape accompaniment of a clay bird dissolving in water played on loop within the installation, adding to the audio visual experience. The sound, which resembled a bird “tweeting”, was created as air pockets within the birds escaped and reached the surface of the water. The sound could be interpreted as the birds’ death song.

The Bering Sink was inspired by deaths of a large number of murre birds in Alaska in 2018.


Copyright Saroj Patel 2022