What happened to the Pigeons in this city?

pencil drawing by Eve Parnell
a pencil drawing by Eve Parnell from “A Postcard to Ireland”

There was pandemonium on the roof this morning. The pigeons in dispute again – over the best roosting spots, I suppose. Rí rá agus ruaille buaille. And they’re not the stately, plump Wood pigeons, nor the elegant Collar doves – they’re just your common or garden ‘street pigeon’, the type you see in their thousands in Piazza San Marco in Venice, for instance. I’m not sure how many we have on the roof but it sounds a bit like the Piazza up there.

Living in cities. That seems to be the problem. Living on top of one another. I don’t think it’s good for people – I wonder what the pigeons think. Most of the time I wouldn’t ask but last week I was at an art exhibition by Eve Parnell and it got me thinking. This exhibition is a collection of works from various previous exhibitions that she’s had – in Berlin, Rome and Turku (in Finland).  And one section looks at dead pigeons (!) Yes, a series of delicate pencil drawings of dead pigeons, presumably killed by coming into contact with us humans in our modern cities.

And here’s a quote for you from the catalogue, by Sister Wendy Beckett:      We live in a world that is profoundly beautiful, complex and subtle, but also frail and vulnerable. We see these things dimly but Eve Parnell sees with wonder, astonishment, gratitude and compassion… She draws us into her profound response. If we receive it, her vision can change us.

photo of pigeons by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
(I was only joking about the pandemonium, these pigeons are very polite, really)

Eve’s exhibition “A Postcard to Ireland” in the RDS Library, Ballsbridge is finishing this Friday, the 30th of October. Open daily, 10am to 5pm.   Your comments are always welcome.  Click on the little brown speech bubble up at the top right of this post and put your comment there.








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