Pigeon Pen, 2017

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, a British military pigeon known as NURP 40 TW 194 set out across the English Channel carrying this urgent message:

AOAKN HVPKD FNFJU YIDDC
RQXSR DJHFP GOVFN MIAPX
PABUZ WYYNP CMPNW HJRZH
NLXKG MEMKK ONOIB AKEEQ
UAOTA RBQRH DJOFM TPZEH
LKXGH RGGHT JRZCQ FNKTQ
KLDTS GQIRU AOAKN 27 1525/6

That day, allied soldiers invaded the beaches of northern France, overcoming Nazi forces and turning the tide of World War II. NURP 40 TW 194 made the journey from France to England, but got trapped in a chimney before reaching home. The message was found nearly 70 years later. It has never been deciphered.

This work represents a period of rumination on messages, family, war, dutiful animals, and the instinct to return home.

Photos by Kyle Dubay