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The Joy of Ravens.

In the aftermath of his divorce, famed Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase used ravens to express his sadness in his renowned book, The Ravens. Often proclaimed to be one of the most important books in the history of photography, his images of ravens have been interpreted as an allegory for the hopelessness, despair and darkness of postwar Japan. It is an undeserved mantle, for ravens are social, mischievous and humorous, they mate for life and are acrobatic aerialists with no equal on the wing. 


A native elder in the Haida Gwaii Islands off British Columbia explained two clans inhabited his island, the Eagles and the Ravens. An eagle had to marry a raven and vice-versa, so your parents would be one of each, and you'd discover your bird totem at your initiation. Surely everyone would want to be an eagle I thought, but that afternoon the ravens claimed me.


Shamans and Druids saw omens in the flights of birds, suggesting that spirits can ride them as surfers ride the waves. In the week after my father's death, he came to me in a dream saying when I'd see the sun glinting off the ravens' wings, he'd be with me. He never knew of my allegiance to the Raven Clan, but during the war he flew blacked-out bombers on night raids, so it made perfect sense that as a lover of flight, he'd show his presence through the sunlight shimmering on the wings of a raven.


Photographed in the Hollywood Hills between October 2018 - January 2019, during my own divorce.

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