Aviary created by Sara Angelucci, a Toronto based visual artist working in photography, video and audio, explores a number of themes of the 19th century; an obsession with collections, taxidermy and exotic birds as well as a craze for portrait collection.
The series was made by combining photographs of endangered or extinct North American birds with anonymous Victorian cartes-de-visite portraits. These were small visiting card sized photographs that could be cheaply made in large quantities. The Victorians also had a sense of entitlement over birds and animals which they hunted for sport and captured for entertainment.
The plight of the passenger pigeon, which is featured in the series, is particularly telling. Once the most numerous bird in North America, numbering in the billions, it was wiped out by 1914 through a combination of brutal over-hunting and habitat destruction.