I appreciate that wild animals are required to adapt and evolve largely as a result of human activity. Representing them in my artwork is my way to communicate about their status, honour their instinctive nature to survive and adapt, and to identify that we are not all that different from them.
My use of heightened colour is in reference to the ‘degrees of enlightenment’ that an animal must go through in order to adapt to the changes of the landscapes, climate, and environment; the more colourful an animal is the more adaptation they’ve experienced and the wiser they’ve become.
Very recently I’ve started exploring relationships between animals and humans, and have become fascinated with falconry as the subject on my next large body of work.
Rather than just focusing on how wild animals adapt around us, I am interested in the idea of humans working directly in tandem with the animals, holding hands so to speak. I am particularly interested in the falconers’ relationship with birds because at any time they could choose to simply fly away and hunt for themselves, and yet they return to their handler.
My fascination around this subject is not just about birds of prey and their symbolizing the natural world, but it is also a dive into the allegorical. The glove (aka ‘the gauntlet’) one uses to have a direct relationship with these birds is itself is an intriguing subject: in order to interact with these birds (ie: the natural world) we need protection from them, and once we protect ourselves we then seek to work alongside them to educate and hunt and work. The falcon in particular has so many symbolic representations in our culture: freedom, power, focus, aspiration. Having a falcon return to your uplifted arm is like communing with nature on the highest level; it is a rejoining and re-understanding that we are not independent from nature, we are part of it and we must respect that fact and work with it to survive.