Photographer: Paula McCartney is a photographer and book artist based in Minneapolis whose work has been exhibited nationally and is held in private and public collections.
Essays: Darius Himes and Karen Irvine
Publisher/Date: Princeton Architectural Press (2010) First Edition, stated (Trade edition)
Format/Condition: New cloth hardcover book in Fine condition. 120 pages. Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches. Profusely illustrated with color photographs.
Description: "Bird Watching" combines varied natural settings with carefully placed craft store songbirds to create an enhanced landscape. A clever subversion of the observer's expectations, the book documents Paula McCartney's work in art and nature photography.
This work explores how nature and fabricated elements can combine to create a scene that questions what is natural, and whether being so holds any intrinsic importance. Photography is used to explore the idea of constructed landscapes, with natural history illustrations, botany journals and scientific specimens acting as starting points.
Part document and part fiction, McCartney's "Bird Watching" is a fanciful, homespun field guide to a woodland twilight zone where our unconscious need to control nature is indulged and our search for an unattainable ideal natural experience is fulfilled. Featuring a design that mimics the tactility of a real bird-watching journal and including essays by Darius Himes and Karen Irvine, this book will appeal to the dreamy naturalist in all of us.