Published November 18, 2021
Birds, Bugs, and Beasts is a site-specific artwork created by Prof. Joan Linder for the new lobby of PS 97 Brooklyn addition.
The installation consists of two digitally printed porcelain tile murals on each side of the entrance and porcelain enamel sculptures mounted on the soffit above. The world depicted is a diverse and fantastical ecosystem intended to bring the outside in and compliment the energy of the neighborhood. It is inspired by historical representations of plants and animals such as Audubon’s Birds of America.
To create the imagery for the project, Linder spent time in Bensonhurst making drawings, taking photographs and researching migratory, invasive, cultivated, native and historic plants and animals. She used black pen and ink to draw the form of the plants and animals and then added watercolor on top. In total, Linder created over 100 drawings that were combined to create this imagined shoreline garden where wild and domestic creatures co-exist. Many drawings were created from direct observation either outside in real life or from taxidermy collections, and others from photographs. The imagery closer to the floor has a hide and seek quality, meant to be especially accessible for the children who attend the school.