BIRDFALL [installation of paperworks - ink drawings, cutouts, suspensions] 2015
An installation of paper works - ink drawings, cutouts, collage, stitching, suspensions
Birdfall has emerged from an immersive experience from being in China and travelling across the Yunnan landscape - a poetic transportation over the vast expanse and rural range of this huge province, from lowland to mountain, field to lake. I found myself deeply in tune with the Chinese landscape. I express my piece as a form of becoming to reflect this emotional connection through an ongoing fascination I have had with the bird.
The bird has long had a profound signification for me encapsulating flight and freedom. Lost or injured birds have often found a haven in my home. I have also found that the bird features prominently in Chinese art and has varied meaningful and symbolic associations to death or joy, fate or fortune or harmony.
The bird in this instance has provided the emotive linkage for me to resonate with this experience, albeit the connection has emerged unintentionally - as experimentation with Chinese ink, tapered brushes, water and rice paper. I have been handling the making of these birds like abstract blottings and strokes - ink or paint that is intuitively marked and dripped. I have been struck by the fluidity of the monochrome medium. I am not sure how I have been doing this… maybe I had already experienced the Chinese culture elsewhere in my subconscious. I am pleasantly surprised by the affinity as the inspiration was happening spontaneously.
Different papers - Chinese paper with local newsprint and translucent papers - have been combined in the layering of the imagery and dialogue to express movement in space, with my intervention in the use of cotton-stitching as an additional part of the drawing. The bird image is explored from a two-dimensional inkblot to being propelled in space within the context of an installation. The way the birds are juxtaposed out of the paper seemingly projects them as if they are migrating from one space to another.
The title Birdfall stems from a process of descending like a waterfall tumbling downwards to the earth. It is quite coincidental that the project also hints on the situation that we have in Malta of the bird hunting which has caused so much distress to many. In this way Birdfall could be seen as they plummet from the sky as if having been shot in the air.
The birds do not come from a particular territory but are a simple universal form suggesting "bird-beings". This is not intended as a retinal illustration; it is more a sense of becoming something that emerges out of one's subconscious experience - like an existential presence. In this sense these ink birds have no sense of belonging, breed or domain. They are simply bird-beings. Like east with west, joy and distortion dance together.
Richard Davies writes:
'Ruth Bianco's BirdFall is not a new departure but one which has been enhanced by her recent experience in visiting China. Over the years I have known her she has always had a great affinity with birds - possibly disarmingly unaware of this rapport for their very presence and preservation. It has been a great fascination for me in England to get occasional video links in the preparation and building of this installation; for such a beautifully crafted piece demands an understanding of the poetic layering and construction which inspire infinite narratives and discussion when viewing this significant piece of work. Relish every minute.' Richard Davies [Artist, UK - 2015]