Flamingo in the Dark

Bea Nettles

Bea Nettles
Flamingo in the Dark
Kwik print on vinyl, pink cloth cover with gold stamping, dust jacket
29.2 x 1.3 x 29.2 cm
Inky Press Productions: Oak Park, Michigan
1979
FSU Libraries Special Collection & Archives

Flamingo in the Dark
00:00 / 01:19

Read Me!

Bea Nettles’s Flamingo in the Dark is a visual autobiography of her life in Florida. At first glance one sees the flamingo, the pink and pastel purple dust jacket which features a collage of images. Taking off the dust jacket, the viewer encounters the pink hardcover square book, accented with gold stamping to create a flock of flamingos along the bottom edge. The deckled edges of the pages feel like the feathers of a flamingo. 

 

Opening the book, the reader encounters Nettles’s first-ever crayon drawing. She made it in the second grade and called it Flamingo in the Dark. This drawing sparked her interest in photographs featuring birds, water, reflections, and Florida. From this starting point, this book is formatted chronologically. It ends with the birth of Nettles’s first child. Nettles’s unique way of storytelling, photographic layering and manipulation, and exploration of her own story emphasize her journey as a woman and the complexity and layers of being one. As her story progresses, more consistent symbols of nature arise, such as the moon and bird nests alluding to her biological clock. The full moon shown towards the end of this visual autobiography represents the completion and growth of her womanhood.

Engage further with Flamingo in the Dark!