Curious fact: The albatross mates for life—each partner flying tens of thousands of miles alone across the Southern Ocean to return to one another every 2 years, in the same place; vast flocks of starlings launch out together in fantastic synchronized dances known as murmurations just before dusk. 

Flying Ancestor

Why do we think so much about flying, why we are so fascinated with birds, why do we have flying dreams? In Flying Ancestor, I was looking to synthesize what I was learning about birds and my personal experience, which flickers between a sense of freedom and desire to be connected to place. I’m always impressed when a flock of birds flings out from a tree and then settles back into it. I remember dreams where I was flying but never far from the ground. I love walking in woods and getting only a little lost. Like the pelagic albatross you can wander very far in your life and come back periodically to the same solid ground. Up to a point, where lies the fear that home will not be there upon your return. 

 

Flying Ancestor is an exploration, a collecting of diverse artifacts from a journey through the landscape/airscape/seascape of memory, giving them a home in its simple youthful frame. Maple branches brought down by superstorm Sandy; imitation gingko leaves and branch, dovetailed with a bit of actual gingko branch; feathers made of hickory and birch bark (white on the outside, coppery red on the other); markings of deep primary color. Flying Ancestor is a casual barter with uncertainty, a simple estimation of the cost of freedom.

 

2014

99 x 78 x 54

Tree bark and branches, various species; copper tubing assembled with stainless steel screws and epoxy; Portland cement mixes with metal foil and wire reinforcement; acrylic paint and sealer

© 2018 Phillip Stern