IN THE PARK
inspired look at birds & why we continue to associate so closely
Feb 6th -
13th 2008. Nov - Dec 2008
The Coach House Gallery, & Mersey Bio Duke
many people, birds have fascinated me since childhood.
They seem to touch us in many indefinable ways; they arouse our
admiration, encourage contemplation and inspire our affections
and because of this they are often the subjects of art. With this
collection I wanted to separate myself from the more technically
proficient work which sometimes suffers from a photographic realism
that often destroys some of their beauty or at least their personality.
I have often watched birds and I have some knowledge of their
behavior, as with all things, when you spend time with something
you engage in some kind of relationship with it. With this in
mind, I tried to get a deeper sense of the birds, to use the painting
as a whole, its colours and forms to express the particular birds’
some species humans have enjoyed lengthy, deep connections. Our
history with crows for example stretches back thousands of years.
They have entered our cultural blood streams and to an unquantifiable
degree we have co-evolved with them, this is at the heart of how
I see this work. Although art sometimes expresses our
deep association with birds, it is important to understand
the shear aesthetic connection we enjoy with them. Sometimes,
I have found I am searching to express something indefinable,
deep within, something real and positive, perhaps it is peace.
When expressing that which is disturbing, hurtful or involves
some kind of mental anguish, then our imagination, abstraction
and symbolism act freely as a way to understand or even heal our
thoughts. When expressing stability or contentment or peace, often
it is the colours and shapes we see placed together
all around us in the natural world that expresses it best.
the more complex associations with birds exist most profoundly
by the observations of the beauty of their shear existence. Birds
for example are often used as symbols that help us understand
and move across boundaries between the familiar and the unknown.
To watch the Fulmar gliding effortlessly through the dark inhuman
space of an Atlantic storm is, as Peter Matthieson observes,
'to risk unnamable intuitions of moral solitude and transience,
one's own swift passage toward the void'.
me, birds represent our achievements, our survival and a peace
which potentially exists within us all. Our perceptions of their
beauty are a reminder of our connections to nature.
They give a sense of time and place which most importantly helps
us feel ‘in the world’. There
are those that like to shoo them and there are those who like
to shoot them, but the clever ones amongst us soon become aware
that birds are one of those things, whose existence helps us with
our own condition. So we just watch and listen and soon our thoughts
concern themselves with what is outside our minds, and this is
a good place.
the exhibition, I also included passages from various books of
some particularly interesting stories and information of human’s
life with birds. You can see all the paintings and read the passages
by following the link below.