|In Circles, 2015|
Over the past 18 months or so I've developed a bit of an obsession with drawing feathers. This is partly because I find them very pleasing to draw and partly because I am interested in their symbolism in relation to my art work.
I find drawing feathers to be quite a Zen sort of thing to do, to capture the different shapes and textures of different feathers requires a certain degree of concentration but there is also a natural rhythm to the drawing process which allows the mind to wander a little. The sound and feel of the pen gliding over the paper is also very calming so all in all it's quite a meditative process.
|White gel pen on black paper|
|White gel pen on tracing paper|
|Silver gel pen|
One of the reasons I started drawing feathers is my interest in birds. It is often hard to draw birds 'in real life' as they don't stay still for very long but feathers can be collected and drawn later. The feather stands in for the bird but is also slightly uncanny (I have a long running interest in the uncanny) as it is no longer attached to the bird, prompting us to think about why it is no longer attached. Like hair there is something slightly unsettling about it when it is detached from the body.
In many cultures feathers are associated with the sky and transcendence. For example, the Celtic Druids wore feathered cloaks to invoke the power of the sky gods. They believed this would help them transcend the earthly realm and enter the celestial realm. Again the association with birds and therefore flying means that feathers can be seen as representative of flight and escape or transcendence.
|Feather Fan, 2014|
|Four Feathers, 2015|
|Study for Icarus, 2015|
I started out just drawing feathers, I then started arranging the feathers and this is something I have been developing recently and is an area I intend to develop further. I have a few ideas and I suspect that as I start to explore these ideas new ones will come along and suggest themselves.