El Buen Vencejo

The swifts, too, were going back to Mexico, echoing the coast of California

as they swooped and flitted in the joy of the air,

revelling in the elation of lightness, before arriving, exhausted,

to fall from the sky, dead, fulfilled. 

 

When I was living in Los Angeles, migrating swifts would come sweeping through the city each autumn, echoing the Pacific coastline as they made their way home to Mexico. These swifts live, eat and couple in the air, barely ceasing their journey until they arrive home, spent. I had been making a piece of work about the routes taken by Mexican migrant labourers, and the parallels between the birds, tiny specks in the sky, and the people on the ground, themselves tiny, anonymous specks, led to this work, Buen Vencejo – Fair Swift.

This work has been shortlisted for the 2015 Jerwood Drawing Prize.