There are many little nooks and crannies in our house, some are more strange than others. There are made that way, collections of things, almost like a "nature table" at primary school or a collection of items put up in a specific way that looks very much like a non specific way and one of these peculiarities is the bird wall. Right by the back doors so they can escape whenever they want.
I have always loved birds and the idea of flight, looking back through my sketchbooks there are multi drawings of birds from my teens onwards, works that I have liked have included pieces about flight – one of which includes a piece at Rites of Passage, Art for the End of the Century (Tate Britain 1995) – a bird cage hung very high in the ceiling of the space, the base of the cage is open and the bars underneath have unfurled and stretched to the point that the come all the way to the gallery floor and along the floor some way – so beautiful and simple and a complete expression of flight. I can’t find any images of it to show you, just a rough sketch in my sketchbook. The exhibition had so many memorable pieces and substantial artists work in there, and one really moving piece of work was Bill Viola’s Tiny Deaths.
In fact reading that last sentence again makes me think that my interest in birds includes all birds but particularly the birds that symbolise darker elements of life such as ravens and crows, or birds that seem to move and be so free. But also it is about that expression of ultimate joyous-ness, such as Marc Chagall expressing his love of his wife and their love lifting them out of the window and over the city. So looking at sketchbooks and seeing drawings of a bird I had drawn and drawn after it had died, doesn’t seem odd to me, it’s not about capturing or trapping them but about life and death – tiny echoes of us but with the ability of flight.
So here is the bird wall, not morbid at all (there are many other bird based items, drawings, designs, clothes, pictures through out the rest of the house) but this is the bird wall.
Monoprint by Lisa Marie Gibbs
Ceramic birds, patterned x 2 by Lauren Denney
White Dove, a gift from The Coombes School
Large ceramic wingless bird by Jane Muir
Bird on red ribbon, a gift
2 x painted pigeons, birds for the twins from The Coombes School
porcelain doves by Zillah Puri (with labels)
Small birds head original canvas Andy Dick taught my mother to dance by The Mincing Mockingbird (on top of this mini canvas are a pair of rusted steel wings laying flat, a gift from the artist Rebecca Swainston, not sure where she found them)
Bird on Canvas (framed) by Natasha Zavialov
My bag of pencils and brushes.
The Bird Wall