When I take little Saga out for a walk, I know there’s a likelihood that I’ll encounter roadkill. I walk the country road most of the way, and too many people drive idiotically fast.
Usually, I come across rabbits or birds that have been hit, but in the past two days, it’s been hedgehogs – one yesterday and one today. It’s been several hours since I found today’s dead friend, and I’m still feeling utterly devastated. I’m always in mourning after I find an animal that’s died a senseless death, and will, more often than not, write a poem about it to help with my grief and to show appreciation for the life that has been lost.
I used to have mixed feelings about using found animal remains for crafts, but over the years, I’ve come to think of using remains as a way of preserving an animal’s memory. Of showing appreciation for that beautiful life that had been and the equally beautiful parts it left behind on earth. Bellow, you’ll find a poem I wrote a few years ago, as well as memorials from a body of work called ‘At Rest’ by Emma Kisiel.
At Rest is a photographic series depicting roadkill on American highways and addressing our human fear of confronting death and viewing the dead. My images draw attention to the fact that, while man has a vast impact on animal and natural life, generally in American society, people are separate from wildlife and the souls of animals have little value. To cause the viewer to feel struck by this notion, I photograph memorials I have built surrounding roadkill at the location at which its life was taken. At Rest expresses the sacredness to the bodies of animals hit by vehicles while crossing the road. – Emma Kisiel