A flamingo and a pelican are lost in the forest. It could be the beginning of a fairy-tale – or else a photograph so extraordinary we are forced to ask: “Is this real?” New York artist Pat Swain is a pioneer in the field of digital art. Through her experimental approach, she has developed her very own form of artistic expression.
Her conceptually developed series places the creatures in entirely new environments, removing them from their original habitats and creating previously unseen visual impulses. These graceful birds blend into the diverse foliage of the tropical rainforest, aesthetically perfect. The spectacular contrast of rich green and bright pink is central to the power of the images, while the texture of the feathers echoes that of the plants.
But how does a flamingo end up in the rainforest? Here, the representational character of photography is challenged on a second level. Not only does Swain create the environment, the appearance of life is also just that – an appearance created through the use of stuffed animals. Swain also explores the relationship between man and environment, drawing our attention to the conservation of biodiversity and its natural habitats.
Pat Swain studied Computer Art and Photography at the renowned Pratt Institute in New York City. She has been awarded numerous prizes, including at the International Aperture Awards and the London International Creative Awards. Her images have been shown worldwide in numerous exhibitions, including at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and the Costa Rica National Gallery. She has also worked as a teacher colleges and universities. Pat Swain lives and works in New York City.