Christy Rupp, an artist based in Chelsea, has created skeletons of extinct birds with the help of chicken bones that she collected over a period of time. Rupp describes herself as an ecological artist. She’s put up the sculptures for display at a museum called the “Extinct Birds Previously Consumed by Humans.” Her goal is to draw attention to the number of species we humans have driven to extinction.
“In our lifetime, more things have gone extinct than in all of the time before us,” she said. Rupp is a vegetarian, and collecting chicken bones wasn’t easy for her. She started by rummaging through garbage cans at parties and barbecues. She would literally wait for people to throw out food, and sometimes get kids to help her too. Sometimes, she would wait for her friends to finish their meal, asking for the carcass as soon as they were done. She even went as far as putting an ad in a local circulation, asking people to save bones for her.
The project took Rupp four years to complete. Collecting the bones was only the beginning. Once she had the raw material, she had to ‘prepare’ it for making the sculptures. She would boil the bones and then dry them, followed by bleach and then a coat of sealant. Rupp has completed life size models of twenty species of extinct bird. She hopes to create more such art using organic materials.