The Diabolical Evolution of the Chicken
paper, ink, acrylic, wood
Front cover and back panels – chicken sayings in handwritten text reproduced with polymer plates and letterpressed over a bright, loud, linoleum block relief texture. Inside panels – a loose timeline of the history of the chicken, handwritten text reproduced with polymer plates and letterpressed over the scratchy, dirty background printed with random dry point marks over a walnut stained paper. A single popup of the hybridized, crippled chicken is in the center of the book. This book was inspired by an article about modern, hybridized chickens which are bred for short lives and can barely feed themselves or walk. In an effort to lighten this up somewhat I offer many common sayings as a reminder that chickens are a part of our culture, our language as well as our diet.
The Chicken feeds us – and in soup form even feeds our soul. But what have we done to the chicken? The human habit of manipulating our own food sources may seem a recent phenomenon but it traces back over eons and through cultures. This illustrated timeline selectively skimming thousands of years of chicken history closes with a summary of the tragically short life of a modern hybridized meat bird. On a lighter note – the ever-present chicken has inspired many common saying and references which are printed on the reverse.
Laura Ladendorf is an artist working in book and print as well as graphic design. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, a community with strong support for the arts. Usually finding inspiration in nature, humanity and culture she has been fortunate to work and study with many accomplished artists at Asheville BookWorks.