Rosen’s standard modus operandi is to create the setting, introduce the animals to it, and let them figure out what to do. “I never really know what’s going to happen,” she says. “It’s exciting to sit back and watch.” Sometimes, that sitting back can stretch on for hours, as in the case of the flamingos in the US, who were simply not interested in the victuals on offer. Sometimes the set pieces can be the problem, as in the case of the starfish shoot in Norway, where the table kept floating away. But the delightfully whimsical final images make it worth all the pain.
The beasts and birds featured in the series are sourced from sanctuaries, animal rescue organizations, farms, as well as from individuals who use them in the tourist trade — a testimony to the conflicted relationship we have with our fellow non-human beings and the confusing ways we interact with them. By placing them in a setting usually reserved for humans, Rosen hopes to raise the question of whether we may have more in common with non-human animals than we admit. “The feasts,” she writes in her artists’ statement, “invite the viewers to reflect on … our relationship and responsibility to the creatures we share the planet with.”