Raccoon and Apple is part of my Flora and Fauna series, where I work with the skulls of native wildlife and reflect on my interactions with them and their place in my microcosm. It is perhaps a bit of a stretch to call this a “new” work in progress, as I’ve been working on it in fits and spurts since 2010. But I realized that I hadn’t yet documented it here, so it’s time to share.
With raccoons as the subject, I had a lot to drawn on, as I spot them fairly regularly. The three juveniles, above, were rambling about where my yard transitions into the woods, near the apple tree. And adults sometimes make night raids on the food bowl I have out for the semi-feral cats.
I’ve seen their distinctive footprints down by the lake. And, sadly but inevitably, I also find their carcasses. I have a firm policy against bringing road kill home, but I did stop to photograph the cool patterning of this one’s tail.
To start on this work, I took macro photographs of a generously loaned skull. I shot it from the top, and in profile, but it was this shot of the underside of the jaw, showing the tooth sockets and sinus cavities, that ultimately made it into the work.
From that image I made a negative and printed it on a transparency sheet.
The transparency sheet was used to make cyanotype prints onto cotton. I love this process so much, and these prints did not disappoint.