A POCKET GUIDE TO ALASKAN WILDLIFE
I created this book in response to my experiences as an artist-in-residence at the Wrangell Mountain Center in McCarthy, Alaska, in summer 2018. It contains all the bugs (mostly mosquitoes!) that I collected from the room where I was living during my stay, and aims to provide some humorous commentary on the experience of really being in Alaska: in particular, on the differences between our expectations of the wildlife we’ll see when visiting Alaska… and what we actually end up seeing a lot of (so many bugs!).
The off-the-grid nature of my time there — no running water, no electricity, no phone, and no computer — allowed me to discover how much more creative time and emotional space one has when living away from technology, living where the road system ends and the wilderness begins. The connection of self to art and self to place is so much deeper when we’re not distracted and our attention isn’t divided. I suspect that I wouldn’t have noticed the bugs (let alone thought of what to do with them creatively!) if it weren’t for having the time and space to reflect and to be present in a particular moment and place without distractions each day. And for that insight (even if not for all of the bugs themselves) I am tremendously grateful.