CORVUS CURIAE
& OTHER SCULPTURE

Joel Bird Sculpture including. The crows court installation.

LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORY ART
CORVUS CURAEI Nov 3rd- 9th 2008.
La Casa de Brujas, Duke St. Liverpool

SCULPTURE I want my sculptures to have been ‘eroded’ naturally, I often use the rock formations especially volcanic rock of the British Isles as a starting point; Recent trips to the island of Staffa on the West Coast of Scotland and the more famous Giants Causeway of Northern Ireland are recent inspirations. My involvement with the art extends to the casting of the sculptures, the meaning of the art is revealed by their symbolic placement. The integration of an ‘Artists Language’, into my work led me to that which I consider as, ‘original’ art.
Original Art is eternal, the language of our ancestors expresses something that lies deep within our souls, our truest links to nature, a world lost, that we were once a part of, and one that we forget at our peril.’
The influence of these birds on this 'original art' is deep and widespread. Crows and Ravens were an integral part of Aboriginal, Maori, Native American, Inuit and Tibetan folklore and spiritual beliefs.
The works in the Corvus Curaei series especially represents how our subconscious relationship with both our recent and evolutionary memories determines how we see the present moment.

CORVUS CURIAE was first show at the 2008 Liverpool Biennial, it represents the power of individual thought and questions how society judges its creative forces. The message of the work is embodied by one of human kinds long standing evolutionary companions, the crow.
The anthropomorphic understandings of the Corvidae include compelling, inventive and often sinister and brutal accounts. Many of the retributive ideas about the corvidae converge at the legend of the rook 'parliament' or its Scottish equivalent, the 'craa's court'. Occasionally a wayward individual is condemned to death. The exercise involves a 'court-like' circle of the birds with a central protagonist and the collective violence against a 'victim'. Observers feel sure they have witnessed a trial and execution of 'criminal' rooks.
At the centre of the CORVUS CURIAE circle is the 'subject' represented by the fascinating champion corvid craftsman The Caledonian Crow. This crow fashions a variety of spears and hooks from vegetation to fish insects out of crevices, and in the lab bends wire into hooks to raise otherwise unobtainable food buckets. Some of its tools are highly stylised and are most often made from the left hand edge, accomplished by 'right handed' birds. 'Right handedness' means the right eye and left brain hemisphere are specialised in non spatial sequential actions, implying a complex, sequential motor task that benefits from efficient neural programming, a neural control only equaled by gorillas, chimpanzees and people.
The 'subject' in CORVUS CURIAE symbolises our creative journey.
It is not yet certain that the encroaching rooks have in mind esteem castigation or worse.
As well as bringing the birds into the stately realms of a human court room, the chess like chequered floor transforms the subjects positioning (pleasingly rooks) into tactical maneuverings, but its pattern adheres not to a strict theory but to a un-consistent formulae more reminiscent of life’s.

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Art as representational aesthetics. The forms of nature and the language of humankind.



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