30 Sep 2016

Flight of Fancy - Common Pheasant

Common Pheasant - Villa of the Aviary, Carthage, Tunisia © David Tipling
Common Pheasant - Villa of the Aviary, Carthage, Tunisia © David Tipling
By John Fanshawe
''Flight of Fancy'' features bird-inspired art from all over the world. The Common Phesant appeared in the June issue of the BirdLife The Magazine. 
Birds are a constant interwoven presence throughout human culture, not least for food, for warmth, as companions, and inspiration. From rock art depictions, through a roll-call of painters and sculptors, such as Vincent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Crows, and Constantin Brancusi’s carvings and bronzes inspired by flight; the sights, sounds, lives and migrations of birds are celebrated by artists.
Throughout the Mediterranean fringe, birds appear in Roman mosaics, and this image of Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus, photographed by David Tipling for Birds and People, is from the Villa of the Aviary in Carthage, Tunisia. It is the first image of a new series that will reveal how artists have taken birds, and used them figuratively, and in the abstract, to delight and shock audiences from pole to pole.
Whether it is Tlingit shamanic bone carvings of eagles from Alaska and British Columbia, or the influence of form and feathers on the extraordinary fashion of the late Alexander McQueen, we intend to explore visual arts practice from painting to performance and build a sense of how traditional and contemporary societies respond to the birds that surround them.

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