I’ve had a good couple of days in the studio since getting back from my Wet Coast adventuring. Perhaps it’s the first (snow-covered!) stirrings of spring, combined with my very productive meetings with Catherine, but I am feeling real momentum and focus building in this body work.
This, I would say, is a very good sign!
I’ve been poring over the (literally) hundreds of photos I’ve taken for this project, and have begun working with them to integrate them into the body of work for final exhibition. Initially, they started as a body of ‘field notes’ : a visual record of physical artifacts/objects that would serve as touch points for both drawing and sculptural work. But they’ve since taken on a life of their own … and I don’t foresee an end to my obsessive photographing of bird’s nests any time soon!
So … I’ve started to play, and so far I am quite intrigued by the results:
Each time I look at these images, I am struck with the singularity of each form. No two nests are ever, it seems, at all alike – even though they are all created by the same species of bird. There’s an assertive sort of presence to them, even when they are in disrepair and obviously abandoned; an undercurrent of defiance in their obviousness in the landscape (even in summer they stand out like sore thumbs). It’s almost as though something of the personality of the birds themselves is expressed through the structures they create. Just recently, I’ve seen two fine examples of this connection – the ‘KBO’ mentality of magpies: 1) a pair of magpies, building a nest in a tree in a driving snow and wind, and 2) a second solo magpie, building a nest in a tree above a street in the heart of downtown, surrounded by traffic, streetlights, people, noise and exhaust. Obviously, there were options to do otherwise in both cases, but for some reason, this is what had to happen for these birds in that moment … and so it did.
And with that … I am off to the studio. That has to happen too!