Animals Are Outside Today by Colleen Plumb

Issue 42

In 1928, 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.” Animals Are Outside Today is a journey examining underneath this net, offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals and consider the multi-layered impact humans have on other living beings.

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. Most people are cut off from the steps involved in their processing or acquisition, shielded from witnessing their death or decay. 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.

Colleen Plumb is a Chicago, Illinois based artist.
To view more of Colleen's work, please visit her website.

Support Fraction and buy the book here.

  Chalk Birds, 2009 

Chalk Birds, 2009 

  Chinatown, San Francisco, 2010 

Chinatown, San Francisco, 2010 

  Trunk with Hand, 2006 

Trunk with Hand, 2006 

  Circus Tent, 2006 

Circus Tent, 2006 

  American Museum of Natural History, 1999 

American Museum of Natural History, 1999 

  Bella, 2008 

Bella, 2008 

 S almon, Greenwich Village, 1999 

Salmon, Greenwich Village, 1999 

  Tortuga Verde, 2008 

Tortuga Verde, 2008 

  Fox and Boy, 2001 

Fox and Boy, 2001 

  Wet Blue Hides, Tannery, 2010 

Wet Blue Hides, Tannery, 2010 

  Cavallino, 2008 

Cavallino, 2008 

  Squirrel, 2005 

Squirrel, 2005 

  Sleeping Lion, 2005 

Sleeping Lion, 2005 

  Horse Horizon, 1998 

Horse Horizon, 1998 

  Mail Truck, 1998 

Mail Truck, 1998 

  Euthanized, 2009 

Euthanized, 2009 

  Nungesser Elephant, 2010 

Nungesser Elephant, 2010