Friday, August 1, 2008

About the bird

When I first found 3 mummified birds in my parents' milking shed 5 years ago, I thought certainly that I would be using them in future sculpture. I saw them in my mind, nestled or trapped inside a thicket of grape stems, and have been working ever since then to make that visualization work out in the physical form. But I've tried a lot of different forms and techniques since then, and have yet to really figure out how to make the birds work with the stems.

In this latest incarnation, for the All Arlington Salon I've placed a bird at the bottom of the Death Star bowl of stems, to test the juxtaposition of materials. The piece definitely isn't finished - the idea I came up with while finishing Addiction #3 for Artomatic was to build a solid sphere with the bird caught in the center, and I'm still searching for a structurally sound technique for connecting the stems in order to do so. But now that I have seen the piece in a gallery setting, I realize that I'm really not convinced that I should be using the bird itself. I feel like it may be too literal, too heavy handed, and in terms of texture, blend with the stems too closely. I'm really hoping to get some conceptual critique on where to go from here, whether to move forward without the bird, or if I'm missing something else entirely.

Here's a bad shot of the previous incarnation, for context. The stems and bird are hanging from nylon thread, below a plexiglass panel.


Alia in Wonderland said...

Have I mentioned that I really love the grape stem orb. In my totally-know-nothing-about art-and-design opinion, it reminds me of the ocean and those spiney clumps of seaweed that bump into you when you swim in the sea.

Jane said...

I remember the birds very well. They had been there for some time, probably from before we owned the farm. There were many places here that we kind of discovered, where no one had been in years.
The birds were on the floor. They didn't look as if they might fly - they were just very quiet, no life left, just the thought that life had once been there because they were so perfect. Maybe that's part of what you need to show?