The Voyagers 2019
Taxidermy pigeon, 280+ hand-built paper clay branches, discarded fishing net
260 x 108 x 58 cm
Creating hundreds of paper clay, oxide stained branches to waive into the discarded fishing net extends the visual story of the pigeon from being simply in flight to one of rescue or relief. To what end have these branches been collected? While they are symbolic of nature as a whole, they also represent the cycle of gathering materials with which to create a home.
There is a tension between the branches that are suspended being carried away on a mission, and those left trailing in a precarious position on the gallery floor close to the footsteps and actions of the gallery audience. I am interested in this interactive narrative which mirrors life, the audience holding the potential for contrasting roles as the observer, caretaker and destroyer.
While the word could signify the animal kingdom, the hand-built branches, ranging in colour from a dark charcoal grey to almost white, represent the struggles of the natural environment on both land and sea (forest fires and coral bleaching). Emotions stemming from this piece range from hope to vulnerability, affording the viewer an intimate reflective moment in the current climate crisis.