Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bird Woman

I was recently asked about the inspiration for the piece bird woman (see is the first image):

I had been sketching birds in my studio, as a way to begin the day. The connection to birds is spiritual in the sense that i have found bird feathers (owls, blue jays, flicker--it's like a woodpecker) for many years. This has also been possible because of my deep connection to land and the forest-- i spend a lot of time hiking and listening. I am also fascinated with the way birds seem to be both physical and spiritual--flying and singing--how incredible, that really is the ultimate. The bird sketches are also ways for me to look at gestures, significant gestures and then to translate those onto figures. So, for example, dancing/fighting birds and rituals of courtship. Or the shape of flying--towards the sky or towards the sea. With this piece I wanted the woman to more directly embody the gesture/the bird. She becomes, the bird becomes. And they are both divine.

...this was a really hard piece for me. When I made it I had such a hard studio day, nothing was flowing and I was actually going to put it away in a pile of mistakes that i have. But then a friend entered my studio and really loved it and that gave me new eyes. And then, as you know, I thought I would sew the entire piece, but the white of the sketch really grew on me. And I began to really understand the importance of the sketch, and the partly-stitched image, the way that it allowed for movements and openings in the work. The piece became very significant to me--it is a legend of sorts for other work. I still feel I have a lot to learn from it. Oh, and it is also about vulnerability, being open to being a vessel, to change, to being physically embodied, to being divine. All that is about vulnerability I think.

1 comment:

  1. I find the desire for more in my life heart wrenching at times. When I see the birds (my desires) I see their beauty and hope for a connection, communication and eventually a relationship. I struggle, at times, to understand my desires and place "reasonable" expectations for their acheivement ( a foundation for a healthy relationship ) for fear of not having them met. This vulnerability, however, is my only path for success, I realize.

    I love my self-absorbed and tortured soul which I see within the stitching, but know at some point I can also love a newly connected heart which is bigger than myself, and even my desires.

    When I see "Bird Woman" I think of making a decision to join something and hoping to hell/heaven that the decision was "right" because now I'm fully committed, for better or worse.

    Thanks for including all the pieces within the post - I would not have made it alone on "Bird Woman". I realize these sketches mean totally different things for every viewer- but I am touched by their essense and soul. Michael