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A crow flies with wings outstretched against a snow-covered landscape. In the centre of the scene, a laundry line is propped up by three poles where white sheets are billowing in the wind. Behind the line there is a two-story house with white siding and beyond, a second, nearly identical house and laundry line with white sheets. In the far distance, we see a sliver of teal-blue ocean and a heavy teal-blue sky that lightens towards the horizon.

Christopher Pratt

The Raven, 1996
serigraph on heavy card
53.6 x 101.6 cm
Collection of the Owens Art Gallery
Gift of Mary Pratt

Clouds are formed when currents of warm air called THERMALS rise from the ground and begin to cool. Thermals themselves aren’t visible until this point, unless there are birds interpreting their movements and riding on them. Birds are said to “catch” a thermal the way we might catch a bus—by floating up to high altitudes and gliding back down, over and over again, across great distances with very little effort. Birds that can be seen doing this include the common Turkey Vulture, identifiable from below by its enormous silhouette and the V-shaped shadow of its shoulders seen through its wings against the overhead sunlight.

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