Perch - CODAworx


Submitted by Margot McMahon

Client: Ragdale Foundation

Location: Lake Forest, USA

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $20,000

Project Team


Margot McMahon




“Perch” and “Preen” are carved from a 283 year old maple blown over, roots and all, by a hurricane force wind off Lake Michigan. In all these years that tree had not met that force of wind. I carve fragile, hollow boned birds to recognize the fragility of nature as a warning of the changes of global climate change. If the trees are being blown over, what is happening to the birds?


The carvings are exhibited at Ragdale which is committed to conserving natural prairie and time and space for artists to create. This was exhibited for Ragdale's Sculpture walk. In addition, Perch is shown at the Arts Club of Chicago for their 2014 Member's Exhibition.


Chicago Sculpture International, Chicago Park District and I collaborated on an installation in Jackson Park along Lake Shore Drive, "Flock" A turquoise flock of flying song birds carved from the same maple and "Perch" an owl grace a dying Elm. The sculpture installation allows the tree to remain as a nesting feeding site for birds and draws attention to the trees dying of climate change.