Christopher Woodward at 35×35

Christopher Woodward, “Along the shore” palladium on paper, salt on matt, each 7 x 5 in.


Utah’s Great Salt Lake is a unique ecosystem that provides life for millions of birds. But there is also death. Every year, 10 to 20 thousand bird carcasses wash up along the shore, their bodies preserved by the salt and cold. “The birds are victims of the freezing temperatures and crashing in the shallow waters,” says Taylorsville artist Christopher Woodward. “This array of death is a natural part of the lake’s ecosystem. ‘Along The Shore’ documents these bodies, elaborating on the mass grave that is the lake’s beach.”

Woodward is a recent graduate of the University of Utah, where he worked at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts as an assistant preparator. He was previously a co-curator of Lumlux Gallery, and has been a registrar, preparator, and oversaw a residency program at Modern West Fine Arts. His work explores themes of the Anthropocene, queer ecology, death, and mourning.

Woodward’s three works on display in the alcove are part of “And The Bees Went Still,” which also examines death and Great Salt Lake. The palladium prints of bees covered in salt crystals are meant as a metaphorical representation of the future of the Beehive state. “The insect bodies stand in for both the local residents and the local flora and fauna,” the artist says. “While the diversion of water, environmental warming, and mismanagement of the Great Salt Lake continues the ominous threat of toxic airs and raging storms of dust and salt takes steps towards becoming a reality.”

Christopher Woodward, “And The Bees Went Still,” 2023, palladium on paper, Salt on matt, each 5 x 4 in.



Artists of Utah’s 35×35Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, through Feb. 23

Categories: 35x35

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