June 6, 2013 - June 30, 2013
During the summers of her ninth and tenth years, Traer Scott accompanied her mother to their hometown natural history museum where her mother volunteered. In lieu of a babysitter, the two stayed there all day, every day, spending very long, solitary weeks communing with the museum’s animals–both living and dead–as well as rummaging through the museum’s disheveled collection of mite-riddled, century-old periodicals and books.
Years later in 2008, during a visit to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Scott “accidentally” created an intriguing image while taking snapshots of their dioramas. Reflections of her husband, inadvertently rendered in the glass and framed behind a large ostrich, gave her pause. She then began to frequent diorama exhibits around the country aiming at capturing these unexpected visual narratives.
Natural History is a series of completely candid, in-camera, single-exposure images which merge the living and the dead, creating allegorical narratives of our troubled co-existence with nature. Ghost-like reflections of modern visitors viewing wildlife dioramas are juxtaposed against the taxidermied subjects themselves, housed behind the thick glass with their faces molded into permanent expressions of fear, aggression or fleeting passivity.
Traer Scott is an award-winning fine art photographer and author of four books, including her latest publication, Newborn Puppies (Chronicle Books, 2013). Her book, Shelter Dogs, is a national bestseller with more than 50,000 copies currently in print. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Life, Vogue, People, O, among many other national and international publications. Scott is the recipient of the 2008 Helen Woodward Humane Award for Animal Welfare Activism and a Rhode Island State Council for the Arts 2010 Photography Fellowship Grant. Scott currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.