Hope Sandrow

 

Shinnecock: May 18, commencing 5:40 AM, 2006

 

The sudden appearance of a white rooster is believed by many to be a sign of good fortune. I have come to believe this, too. While walking one morning on Shinnecock Hills once painted by William Merrit Chase, my path crossed with a white cockerel. He followed me home, and chose a cedar tree at the entrance to my garden for his roost. Hearing his cock-a-doodle-doo at dawn, I awoke, and followed, taking photographs. May 18, commencing 5:40 AM is part of the series Shinnecock and study spacetime that documents the life and times of the white cockerel I’ve named Shinnecock, after the area where I encountered him. He is a member of the endangered ancient breed of Paduan Fowls painted by 16th Century Italian artists and noted by naturalists such as Charles Darwin. My adventures with the cockerel led me to a 13 acre estate that Shinnecock Indian Nation believes is the site of sacred Indian burials. Two days earlier this land was clear-cut of trees and plants for development, its Manor slated for demolition. I have since made a concerted effort, with the Shinnecock Nation, one of the oldest continuously self-governing Native American tribes in the country, to preserve this 13 acre estate from future development. The New York State Preservation League designated it one of seven most threatened historic resources. In addition to the remarkable building designed by Norwegian architect Thorbjorn Bassoe, the property is also valuable for its uses related to the area's maritime industry and the Shinnecock Nation.

 

And for the cockerel Shinnecock, I brought home hens.

 

Bio

Hope Sandrow’s work has recently been shown at PS1 (LI City, NY), the  Southampton Historical Museum (Southampton, NY), the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore); Nasher Museum of Art (Duke University); and New Museum (New York). Sandrow’s work is included in public collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Her work has received numerous awards including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and the Skowhegan Governors Award. Sandrow lives and works in Manhattan and Shinnecock Hills, NY.

 

Illustration:  May 18, commencing 5:40 AM, from the series Shinnecock, space/time study, 2006, 44” x 210,” color pigment print. The white cockerel, Shinnecock, strutting on land formerly known as the 13 acre Estate Gissa Bu, clear cut for the development “Manors of Southampton,” recently acquired for the Town of Southampton “open space program,” Shinnecock, Southampton.