The Homeless and the Great Titmouse

Installation comprised of 2 sculptural elements.

How to Sculpt a Portrait of a Bird: Nesting holes , Plexiglas, wood, drawing.

Yellow Balloon, Pin, Butterfly: Latex balloon, butterfly, insect pin.


 How to Sculpt a Portrait of a Bird was a site-specific installation created in direct response to the area in which the gallery was located. The gallery was surrounded by gardens in which there were many species of birds, which I decided to invite to enter and nest inside the gallery. The diagram (right) shows the dimensions and height of each nesting hole.


Yellow Balloon, Butterfly And Pin There is one point on the surface of a balloon where a needle can be inserted without releasing any air and a specific point on a butterfly where an entomological pin is inserted for preserving it.
First paint a cage
with an open door
then paint
something pretty
something simple
something beautiful
something useful
for the bird
then place the canvas against a tree
in a garden
in a wood
or in a forest
hide behind the tree
without speaking
without moving...
Sometimes the bird comes quickly
but he can just as well spend long years
before deciding
Don't get discouraged
wait years if necessary
the swiftness or slowness of the coming
of the bird having no rapport
with the success of the picture
When the bird comes
if he comes
observe the most profound silence
wait till the bird enters the cage
and when he has entered
gently close the door with a brush
paint out all the bars one by one
taking care not to touch any of the feathers of the bird
Then paint the portrait of the tree
choosing the most beautiful of its branches
for the bird
paint also the green foliage and the wind's freshness
the dust of the sun
and the noise of insects in the summer heat
and then wait for the bird to decide to sing
If the bird doesn't sing
it's a bad sign
a sign that the painting is bad
but if he sings it's a good sign
a sign that you can sign
so then so gently you pull out
one of the feathers of the bird
and you write yours name in a corner of the picture
                                - Jacques Prevert
                                  (translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
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