Alice Hargrave is a photographic artist whose research based work reflects on impermanence: environmental insecurity, habitat loss, and species extinctions. Hargrave recently collaborated with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology NY to create her project Last Calls: abstract patterned “portraits” of threatened and endangered birds using sound waves of their last calls in the wild. Hargrave photographs, layers, and tones the sound waves using the surprising colors of eyes, talons, skin, or plumage of each particular species, contradicting the ubiquitous argument “why save that simple brown bird”. Reminiscent of hieroglyphics, these avian vocalizations give loud, colorful voice to these species in peril.
Hargrave could work with patrons in several of ways. Reflecting her most recent project, she could work with vocalizations of any species of bird (or other animal) that carries personal meaning to the Patron. (paper or weaving) She sometimes layers her landscape imagery with the bird call patterns in experimental ways creating unusual figure / ground relationships with these textiles of sound. Hargrave could also photograph a meaningful personal space, landscape, or interior that is resonant with the Patron aesthetically, personally, or historically. She is interested in creating emotionally charged pieces that go beyond what one sees with their eyes.
Hargrave has worked extensively with archival photographic materials such as old snapshots or super 8 film and could work with any material or substrate from your personal archive, vintage or contemporary, family or other archival material. After discussions and research about the source material, and it’s relationship to the Patron, she could infuse the work with a sense of your own history, personal narratives, or simply emotion and the passage of time— as her work explores the fugitive nature of experience, the natural world, and the photographic medium itself. She is interested in how photographs literally color memory, and perception.