1. What is the central idea of your concentration?
My interest in painting birds started when I noticed the simple elegance of their shapes and patterns, and the beauty of their color. Here, I attempted to take these birds out of their traditional nesting places and place them in unconventional settings to show, each in a different way, that they are bound by the conventions of everyday human life.
2. How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You may refer to specific images as examples. When referencing specific images, please indicate the image numbers.
Birds have traditionally been an established archetype for freedom, as they can do what humans cannot – fly freely in the sky, apart from the earthly realm. One of my favorite poems, in fact, is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, as it uses the caged bird as a symbol for one’s clipped freedom – a bird that can fly but is unable to, trapped by the walls that confine it. Birds also convey a sense of innocence in nature, which was something I could identify with. My concentration started off as an exploration the idea of the caged bird, as seen in image 1. In further exploration of the connection between birds and humans, I placed the birds in human settings – for example, a dove on a bed (image 4), owls in a closet (image 9), a duck in a bubble bath (image 12). I also explored the idea of irony in my pieces – for example, image 7 depicts a chick sleeping in an egg carton. In a sense, humans themselves are trapped by the boundaries of materialism and the mundanity of everyday life. I am using birds as a symbol of our innocence and naïveté, and by placing the birds in human settings, I am questioning our own freedom amidst our immersion in the quotidian.