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Hope is the Thing with Feathers
I started painting birds as a reaction and antidote to the surreal state of the world in 2020. I have always been fascinated with birds and even as a child I could spend hours tracking their movement through binoculars. I have a memory of me as a 7-year old, explaining to a bemused teacher in detail how the flight pattern of a lapwing differs from that of other birds. For me, birds and nature in general connect me to a deeper, ancient part of myself.
Back when I painted my first bird in oils, we were in a long spell of wintery weather, the Covid virus was upsetting society and the news told of lives lost, economic depression, panic buying and more large and small disasters. Yet, I knew spring would come. I sat down, listening to the wind howling about the house, and painted a swallow. They arrived a few weeks later, chattering in acrobatic circles overhead. I loved sharing these paintings with people as the world was in lockdown and fear ran high. I think they helped, even if just a little, to uplift someone's spirits in what may be a lonely and difficult time.
If your mind were a painting, what colour would it be? A series of inner-world abstracts.