© Krisia M. Ayala
As an artist, I am interested in exploring migratory issues that are caused by political events. My biggest motivation is to find parallels between avian and human migratory behavior and connect the subjects’ different experiences. Migration is a struggle that forces you to adapt. It can happen from coast to coast, or within your own body. It forces you to re-contextualize your skill sets and develop new ways to survive. It is one of the many ways one can visualize human sorrow and determination and a phenomenon that connects us with other species.
In the past, my artwork focused on understanding the different perspectives regarding "place" and my dwellings with migration. In 2011 I created a book called Birdwatching Through Puerto Rico, which depicts diverse ecosystems and has sound modules that help the reader taste the Island. I started this book because I had to pack-up my memories and left it all behind.
This book is a document that successfully collects those experiences and the characteristics of the ecosystems that I once inhabited and will never forget.
As I continued to develop my practice, I started to gain interest in tracking activities and the traces that the migrants left behind. The discoveries I made through my research motivated me to create an international curriculum for the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds in exchange for visiting their research stations and gaining knowledge in tracking migration. I also worked as a visiting artist, with communities in the Balkans, who are in new migration cycles.
I focus on areas that have witnessed numerous migrations; I take samples and develop my maps. The relations that the habitats have with the birds denote specific traits of their culture. Tendencies and customs that are disappearing due to political conflicts, terrorism, and abrupt climate change force them to relocate.