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This is an evolving online exhibition, more works will be added as they are completed – check back from time to time.
(158) Samantha Harvey - David Attenborough Owl Keeps Guard
My starting point was page 184: The Owl Keeps Guard. The photo and description show a ‘long eared owl’ who, unlike most owls, has ‘constructed quite a sound nest amidst the branches’. I spent a good deal of time imagining what, during Covid lockdown, the owl is guarding in that sound nest.
It is alarming to me that in order to protect ourselves we are reneging on all the good (but still too slow) progress made with moving away from single use items. Coffee cups, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves… so much plastic is being thrown away again. The voices supporting our planet are being muffled by the fear of pandemic. We seem unable to deal with more than one complex problem at a time even though this is the only way we will actually be able to sort things out.
As I worked on the owl with its sanitizer label feathers and nest of plastic food wraps I realised that David Attenborough is one of the only wise old people keeping guard over our precious planet. He and Greta Thunberg are keeping us aware that the problem is not going away. They are keeping guard and making sure that we do not forget.
The owl and globe are drawn with thread. The base is indigo-dyed cotton rag paper.
My work is inspired by the fascinating diversity, beauty and quirkiness of the World, particularly the colour, movement and incredible shapes found in the fragile gardens of the seas and in plants. The tactile act of construction informs all my pieces.
I have a compulsion to draw and to manipulate materials. My mixed media sculptures and drawings usually incorporate stitch to add layers of texture and structural integrity. Inspiration is found through looking and drawing and from the variety of materials I collect and from travels in the world. It is important for me to use waste and recycled materials, it seems particularly important when highlighting the beauty of nature to ensure that I am not contributing to damaging it.
A piece may start with drawings and imagination but the most important part of my process is the tactile act of combining materials with contrasting textures and origins so that the individual personality of each element emerges organically.
Link to Samantha’s Art Aviso profile HERE
Samantha was supplied with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:
Birds and their ways
The Owl keeps guard