These pictures hit me close to home.  Almost my whole life and long before I was born, my grandpa raised and raced homing pigeons.  It was a huge part of my childhood and it and he are responsible for an enormous part of my attraction to birds and animals, I’m sure.  I love these pictures.  I think they are so sensitive and beautifully executed.  I really appreciate that the pigeon, whom I often see portrayed and discussed in a negative light, as a nuisance and an unintelligent animal, is illustrated to be a companion, a guardian, and an object of pride as well as a sporting creature.

From the artist’s statement: This series explores “Doo flying,” a [pastime] which has been practiced in Scotland since Victorian times.  Thousands, mainly in the housing schemes of Edinburgh and Glasgow, fly horseman thief pigeons, or “doos” from [their] lofts, bedrooms, living rooms, and sheds often built by hand.  Horseman Thief Pouters are a type of pigeon which have been used for hundreds of years to capture other pigeons.  This is a unique trait of this particular breed and other breeds do not have the ability to seduce other pigeons back to their home loft.  The sport of Doo-flying is based around the thrill of catching another dooman’s pigeons. The birds are firstly kept from mating as long as possible in order to “build up steam.”  Doomen then send male or female birds up in an effort to entice members of the opposite sex, which belong to a fellow flyer, back to the hut.  Men and women of all ages fly against neighbours, friends, or relatives and have been doing so for the hundreds of years.

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Found via: urbanautica