Colleen Plumb – Animals Are Outside Today

In 1928, Henry Beston stated regarding animals in his book, The Outermost House: “They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”



Deer Sweat Shirt 1

Animals Are Outside Today is a journey examining underneath this net, offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals and consider the multi-layered impact humans have on other living beings.

Contradictions define our relationships with animals. We love and admire them; we are entertained and fascinated by them; we take our children to watch and learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history – evident in our stories, rituals and symbols. At the same time, we eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them, and their images, in countless ways.

Our connection to animals today is often developed through assimilation and appropriation; we absorb them into our lives, yet we no longer know of their origin. Most people are cut off from the steps involved in their processing or acquisition, shielded from witnessing their death or decay.

This series moves within these contradictions, always questioning if the notion of the sacred, and the primal connection to Nature that animals convey and inspire, will survive alongside our evolution..


Amish Horses



Geese with Lights



Bird on Stairs



Daniel’s Lions



Mold-A-Rama Dinosaur with Ruth

More images and other interesting projects on Colleen Plumb’s website.

Colleen Plumb is an award-winning photographer whose work is held in several photography collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago or Beijing Natural Cultural Center, China. Her photographs have been exhibited nationwide in many one person and group exhibits, and have been widely showcased in books and publications such as PDN and Hotshoe International. Plumb currently teaches in the Photography Department at Columbia College Chicago.

The “Animals Are Outside Today” book with photographs by Colleen Plumb and essay by Lisa Hostetler from the Milwaukee Art Museum is available here.
Hardbound, 9 x 10 inches, 128 pages, 65 color illustrations.cover