The Natural History Tour

Traer Scott’s Photography Series Illuminates Public Art Exhibition across Four US Cities

At The Plus we’re still keenly anticipating Traer Scott’s new book, Finding Home: Shelter Dogs and Their Stories. Luckily, the talented American photographer has a new project to keep us happy while we wait. Her enchanting series, Natural History has been chosen to feature in The Fence, an annual outdoor photographic exhibition which will be hosted in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Houston, and Boston.

Natural History is a departure from Traer’s signature work with shelter dogs, featuring spectral reflections of people as they engage with a variety if inanimate animals. “An accidental snapshot at the American Museum of Natural History first put the idea in my head of juxtaposing living visitors against the historical dioramas and I began to intentionally create the images,” explains Traer.

Bald Eagle

“Natural History is all about chance and serendipity. It’s clandestine and furtive and kind of magical but still somehow detached.”

Traer’s work will feature alongside a host of other photographers who were chosen by a panel of judges. Later this month, the 1,250 foot-long outdoor photo installation will be coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

We spoke to Traer about the series and how she came to be involved with The Fence:

The Plus: Are you trying to convey a particular narrative in Natural History?
Traer Scott:
The narratives tend to dictate themselves based on organic interaction between the subjects, but the overarching theme is definitely the troubled co-existence between humans and nature.

Bighorn Sheep
TP: How are the challenges different compared to the Shelter Dogs series?
I can’t even compare the two; they are such completely different entities. The work with shelter dogs is much more controlled yet also very emotional because it is dealing with beings whose lives are in danger.

TP: How did you get involved in The Fence?
I met Sam Barzilay on a trip to China a few years back and became aware of his work with Photoville. This year I submitted to the Fence and fortunately the jury chose Natural History for all four cities
Ostrich 2
TP: Why do you think publicly displayed art is so valuable?
Publicly displayed art gets important work into the line of sight of people who might otherwise never see it. It also allows art to literally become part of someone’s daily life as they commute to work or school or take their kids to the park. That beauty becomes infused into life’s daily routines or drudgeries and I think that it can create little ripples of awareness and change.

TP: Will you get to attend the launch in Brooklyn?
I was hoping to go but work is keeping me at home so unfortunately I won’t be there.

Hunting Dogs
The Fence Tour Launches in Brooklyn Bridge Park on 23 July 2015 and runs until October.
All images are copyright of Traer Scott.