For the Bird's installation at Joan Grona Gallery, San Antonio, TX May - June 2008
Statement What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves that makes you want to get drunk? –Jack Handey
The installation For the Birds was inspired by an article I read in a Discover magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. Hundreds of birds mysteriously died en masse in Vienna, Austria, causing concern among scientists about a possible new outbreak of the avian flu. It turned out, though, that the sweet songbirds had died of alcohol poisoning after eating fermented berries. There were also reports of the birds’ exhibiting strange behavior before they died—crashing into cars, careening into the sides of buildings. Apparently nobody ever warned these birds not to fly drunk.
I’ve always liked birds—they make pretty sounds. I’ll always remember my grandmother telling me when I was a child, “you know it’s Spring when you see robins.” So when I read the Discover article, it completely captured my imagination. I tried to visualize seeing these drunken birds for myself. For the Birds is my translation of my imaginings into a three-dimensional atmosphere, of birds celebrating a beautiful day with refreshing beer. This installation is not meant to teach the birds or the viewers a lesson. I want the viewer to laugh--if somebody walks into this world and cracks up, I feel like I’ve succeeded.
My work—whether it’s a painting, sculpture, or prints—always start as a sketch on the computer. I’ve only begun working with felt and I thought the drunk birds would translate well into that medium. The flat panes of color and squiggly graphic line I achieve in that medium is well-represented by the hand-cut panels and black stitching of these felt figures.
The sound element of this installation comes from closing my eyes and imagining this place where the drunk birds roam, and I want the viewer to be equally consumed. Imagine an open field somewhere, with no people except for those drunk birds.
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Copyright . Kimberly Aubuchon. All rights reserved.