Carolyn Drake

“The political barricade between me and the people I was trying to connect with began to seem impenetrable…I began to look for meaning at the intersection of our views, and find ways to bring the people I was meeting into the creative process. Traveling with a box of prints, a pair of scissors, colored pencils, and a sketchbook, I asked willing collaborators to draw on, reassemble, and use their own tools on my photographs.” — Drake (no date)

Carolyn Drake’s photobook Wild Pigeon takes as its starting point a short story by Nurmuhemmet Yasin about a young pigeon that chooses to die rather than live its life in a cage.  Yasin was arrested by Chinese authorities shortly after the publication of his story (Pantall, 2015).

The book is full of fantastic photographs but what really makes them interesting is that the photographer has given her images over to her subjects and let them do what they like with them.  The result is pictures that have been drawn on/written on, cut up and rearranged to create something remarkable; a true collaboration between artist and subject.  It is such an unusual but memorable technique that allows the photographer to truly capture what matters most to the people she met.  Genuinely inspiring.


Drake (no date) Wild pigeon 2007-13 [online]. Available at: Accessed on 09/09/16.

Pantall, C. (2015) Book review: Wild pigeon [online]. Available at: Accessed on 09/09/2016.