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Here's a little confession - as a child birds terrified me! Snakes, frogs, lizards, spiders - no problem. But keep the things with feathers away!

As they say - shift happens. Somewhere along the line I stopped feeling bothered by the birds watching me (us humans think we're "bird-watchers" but really - whatever we watch watches us also), and started paying attention instead.

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"The birds emerging from the surface speak to different emotions"

Birds tell such beautiful stories - whether through behaviour, relationship or physicality. I noticed my attention moving from portraits of humans to portraits of birds - often sensing that the birds were a more accurate reflection of myself in those captured moments than a traditional self-portrait could be. The first few drawings - most of which were lost somewhere between Lynedoch and Swellendam during a previous move - epitomized grief and rage. Angry birds.

The birds emerging from the surface speak to different emotions now. More shift.

The paper itself has its own story, actually. Before moving to the Western Cape one of my favourite "Artist's Dates" was to explore a demolition yard in Kya Sand, Johannesburg. One morning I discovered a stack of folded movie posters from the middle of last century, litho printed using black and one spot colour. I've always been attracted to drawing on found objects as opposed to pristine white paper, and this discovery felt like an absolute boon! 

They waited over a decade for me to dive in. I'm loving the additional layer of story they bring, and the challenge of teasing out visual harmony. At times the subject matter and lettering contribute to decision-making around which birds I bring into the piece, and other times these connections find their way along the process.

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