Saturday, 21 March 2009

We Like BirdLand

Photo's From My Second Year Show of My Installation 'We Like Birdland'

Thought I'd put up some photo's of 'Elliott' with the flock of birds, since I always saw 'Elliott' as an installation. I based it mainly on Patti Smith's song 'Birdland'. The song tells the story of a boy whose Father has just died, after the funeral he mistakes a flock of birds for a spaceship, that he believes is bringing his dad back to him.
The song reminded me of the experience of losing my Nain and Aunty, after their deaths I saw two swallows perched on the telephone line outside my bedroom window, its the only time I've ever seen swallows, I'm not saying I believe the swallows were spaceships or the reincarnation of my Nain and Aunt, but seeing the birds helped me deal with the loss. I wanted to try capture those feelings and the experinece, whilst watching 'Heroes' I learnt of the Japanese tradition of folding origami cranes, there's a legend that states if you fold a thousand cranes you are granted a wish, which I think is a really beautiful idea, so i started to make my flock of origami cranes [with the idea that the wish would be to have my Nain and Aunty back] once I'd hung them from the ceiling flying out from the back of the studio all the way down to the door, I placed the painting of 'Elliott' looking up at the birds. I used Elliott from E.T because i could see a parallel between him and the boy in the song, and also because I could relate to Elliott when i was a kid, and used to get really upset when he had to say goodbye to E.T [i still do actually, it's literally the only thing that can make me cry]. I was really happy with the end result, and for ages thought the painting didn't work without the birds, but i guess it kind of does, he still looks sad and is still looking up, so its almost like he's now straining to see the birds or spaceship, and of course people who realize I've infringed copyrights and used the little boy from E.T will get the reference and hopefully connect it with the experience of losing someone close to them...

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