These works on paper were created as experiments using wool fibers as a drawing medium. Rather than adhering the wool to the paper, I poked fibers through the surface using a felting needle, shaping the borders and anchoring more or fewer of the fibers to create the effect of different shades of black. These drawings are a study in opposites. From afar the images appear solid, defined, and graphic, but upon closer approach they become more detailed yet also less distinct as the individual fibers come into focus. The drawings are loose and gestural within the confines of carefully controlled mark making; they are two-dimensional depictions that take place in three-dimensional space. But beyond the mechanics of making the images, the subject of birds is also fraught with opposing qualities that tie in with my recurring themes.
To me, birds are physically elegant in the large view, but delightfuly grotesque in certain details. I'm attracted to the way scaly feet betray the fact that their smooth feathers hide wiry, bony, fleshy animals. I am a particular fan of pigeons and other doves because they are polarizing creatures: many people consider them to be disgusting, disease-carrying 'flying rats,' some admire their ability to successfully co-evolve with humans, and a subculture of fancy pigeon breeders creatively exploit their mutations to produce an astounding array of impossible-looking living specimens of extreme domestication. In a similar vein, crows and ravens are recognized for their cognition and tool use and labeled either 'clever' or 'evil' for it. Birds are often defined by their use to humans as food, entertainment, or decoration. For my purposes birds are emblematic of the complicated relationship between humans and the natural world.
First you will see 'Damask' pieces, with bird forms set within wallpaper-like designs, then studies of real birds, and finally gestural studies focusing on the legs and feet.