I noticed some time ago that scarecrows no longer exist in the fields and vegetable gardens in France. This is largely because pesticides and protection nets have completely replaced them.

Sensitive to environmental concerns and ecology, I conceived a project to restore these forgotten field sculptures. With the help of Hugo Deniau, a visual artist, my idea was to offer the birds of our region both the nicest and most frightening way to meet scarecrows again.

The word “scarecrows” is derived from the verb “scare”—these figures are supposed to inspire fear in the animals that land on the fields and eat the seeds before the plants have grown. Indeed, the scarecrow is an attempt to symbolize a human presence even when no one is actually there.

From this eternal antagonism, Hugo and I realized that these creatures are not only frightening to birds: they also represent a greater nightmare. We were inspired by the notions of contemporary terror—global warming and environmental destruction to name a few—and thus used objects and colors tied to pollution. These modern scarecrows evidence the broader attacks being made by humanity against all of nature.

Trying to reunite man, nature and birds through a single art project is as ambitious as it is vital. My idea is to travel through more landscapes and create enough new images to publish a book or have an exhibition on the subject. I am always animated by thinking differently about our world in order to save it.

—Kate Fichard

Editor’s Note: This unusual project was selected as one of the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016. See the inspiring work from all 50 talents.

“Scarecrows” will be exhibited at Paris’ city hall in November, in conjunction with COP 23, the UN conference dedicated to issues of climate change.