A Radiance, Site Specific Installation September 24th - October 10th 2022, part of OCA Elevate Open Spaces
While I am walking at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, I always feel like there is something magical about the woods there. The forest animals (especially the deer) and the stunning variety of birds in the Preserve are part of it, but for me, I think the real magic, is the old-growth trees. I always loved the fact that when a tree falls there, the stewards of the Preserve, leave it be so that it can continue to provide nourishment and sustenance for the surrounding ecosystem. I consider the trees, standing tall and laying down, to be the heart and essence of the Preserve. Leaving nature to complete its cycle promotes a healthier environment and allows witness to the already perfect process.
In honor of this process and the magic I feel while walking in the woods there, I created a large fantastical flock of birds to fly throughout the Preserve. Chosen for their particular symbolism, each bird in the flock was made of a combination of three species: the crane symbolizing healing, rebirth, happiness and health, the hawk for intelligence and spiritual awareness, and the cardinal for hope and spirit. The flock was fabricated using wood veneer and stained white, both for dramatic visual effect against the dark woods and rocks, and for the white bird’s association with peace. Each has an approximate wingspan of 3 feet and length, tip of beak to tail, around 2.5 feet. Under the wing of some birds, inspired by the different types of trees and plants at the Preserve, I created a contrasting branch design out of dark walnut wood veneer. Ferns, flowers, lichen, fungi and other found natural ephemera also adorn each bird combining earth and air and imbuing the birds with a found natural history of place; an earthy anchor, a reminder of the specialness of each individual object and that what we do with the earth carries into everything especially the air.
To promote observation and sustenance for the actual bird population in the Preserve, some members of this magical flock carry little seed balls.
Huge thank you to Elevate Atlanta for believing in and funding the project.