A Bird Readies the Soul and Moves it to Tenderness
silk saris, hand dyed ritual thread, cotton thread, bronze
variable dimensions, 1500 x350cm
A Bird Readies the Soul and Moves it to Tenderness is an experiential work exploring the fleeting nature of existence, the construction of symbolism, metamorphosis, making and belief. Silk saris, collected in India during an Asialink residency where the work was made, have been embroidered with ritual thread in paisley-patterned swallows and swifts that fly in pairs, small groups and on their own across the silk. Swallows and swifts are symbolically linked to the soul, their light bodies and near weightlessness a perfect vessel for the anima. Vultures flying overhead in India, their shadows moving over the living are a reminder of the ephemeral nature of existence. In A Bird Readies the Soul and Moves it to Tenderness Western and Indian symbols of mourning, transformation, sexuality and celebration are blurred. The embroidery is displayed ‘right way’ facing and also ‘work side’ up to construct a narrative of making where the hierarchy of stitching is dismantled.
The fragment evokes the whole and independently exists of itself. Twig. Tree. Forest. The potential to warm, soothe, cook, destroy, purify, and burn is evoked and dismantled in the cere perdue process where the twigs have been burnt away and the hollow space where they once existed filled with bronze. The pile of bronze sticks now exist as a monument to the humble daily acts of living and the potential for metamorphosis that exists in all nature.
Fragility – Destruction – Purification – Emptiness – Loss – Transformation.