KILLED STRIKING


Gallery of Photography, Dublin. September 2007-November 2007
National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin. September 2007-November 2007
National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin. April 2009-April 2010

Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden. September 2011-Touring

 

Killed Killed 5 Killed 6 Killed 9
Killed 1 Killed3 Killed 8 Killed 10
Karl Grimes. Killed Striking 1 (detail). 39 Archival pigment prints, 122 x 366cm. 2007/10


The brilliant lights attract thousands upon thousands of winged voyagers, numbers of whom, when bewildered by the glare on dark nights, fly oftentimes against the lanterns with great speed, and are killed striking. The force with which they strike is immense, often smashing the thick lantern glass by such heavy species as the Ducks, where weight, added to velocity, results in a tremendous blow being given, the keel of the breast-bone being occasionally flattened at the same time beyond recognition.

It is hoped that the Light-keepers will not think it too much trouble to cut off and label the wing and leg of every common bird which is killed at their station. Rare or strange birds should be sent entire. These should be forwarded and the costs of so doing will be gladly paid. All species can then be identified with certainty. It is hoped that the notes may extend not only to the night migration, but also have reference to any migratory flocks passing inland, or seen in the vicinity of the station during the day. If no boat comes, steep birds in methylated spirits - it does not injure them.

R.M.Barrington. The Migration of Birds as Observed at Irish Lighthouses and Lightships. 1900.

Killed Striking. 70 Archival pigment prints in grid. 36x26in (92x66cm) & 72x48in (183x122cm)
From the Lighthouse. 25 Archival pigment prints. 23.5x 48in (56x122cm) each
Bird Wall. 20 Chromogenic prints in grid. 24x20in (61x51cm) each
Irish Lights. Archival map and sound synchronised LED light work
Installation: Sound work, Killed Striking (7.6mins). Grimes & Lawrence
Archival letters, wall text, display case
Image dimensions variable for gallery spaces. 

Flight Path 3
Lighthouse 2
Karl Grimes. From the Lighthouse (series detail). 25 Archival pigment prints, 56 x 122cm each. 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 



Lightkeeper's etter Lightkeeper's Letter
Lighthouse Keepers' Letters. Killed Striking. Courtesy of National Museum of Ireland. 2012


R.M. Barrington was obsessed with the migratory patterns of birds around the Irish coastline, still very much an inexact science in the late 19th century. His quest for hard evidence and fact, beyond random observation and untrained account, fueled the remarkable project he began in 1881, a pioneering, systematic and idiosyncratic study that continued for over twenty years.

Aware of the fatal attraction that birds have to artificial light, he secured the voluntary participation of Irish lightship and lighthouse keepers, marshalling them into a far-flung body of researchers and observers. He directed his team of light-keepers to collect all avian victims found after daytime fog and nocturnal collisions with the lighthouses’ lantern beams. These were then placed in carefully designed envelopes with schedules and comments for monthly collection by the Irish Lights relief ships. Once onshore, they were posted via the Royal Mail to Barrington’s home in the mountains of County Wicklow, some thirty miles south of Dublin city.

For over two decades, thousands of visitor and passage migrant birds and bird parts of various species were collected, posted, labeled, classified, measured, preserved and quantified. Barrington subsequent collation and analysis of results over these years was to yield the first systematic and accurate account of the seasonal migratory patterns of birds around the coastline of Ireland.

Killed Striking is realised in two parts and includes, The Curious Case of Mr B and his Bird Parts
Both are part of the research project: Dignified Kings Play Chess On Fine Green Silk.


Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, Gallery of Photography, Dublin, and the Morris Foundation, U.S.A.

 

Killed Striking Grid 1

Installation view: The Definitive Order & Killed Striking 1 . 2007
The Definitive Order. Museum display case, Red-Backed Shrike nest and eggs, Ostrich egg, Emu Egg, green silk and gold cushions. 90 x 116 x 72cm
Killed Striking 1 . 2007. 39 Archival pigment prints, 122 x 366cm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 



(left & right) Killed Striking 1
. 2007
39 Archival pigment prints, 122 x 366cm. Edition of 1. Collection of the artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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