Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Ravens are highly social and intelligent animals, ranked with dolphins and chimpanzees because of their human-like cognitive traits, abilities of abstract thought, and trainability. Studies document that ravens are able to use past experiences to plan for future events. The irony of creating a Corvid* during the covid pandemic is not lost as ravens have long been associated with death, loss and ill omen, likely due to its black plumage, strange calls and scavenging diet of dead things and human garbage.
A lamp sculpture made from reclaimed wood (oak barrel staves), wire and oil stain
18”w X 24”h X 16’d 2020
Adapting easily to life among humans, mimicry vocalizations have cast these birds in stories as a medium linking the material and spiritual worlds. Native American legends cast them as playful pranksters, responsible for stealing the light in the darkness of the world to create the sun, moon and stars. Humans also covet energy and in this work I wanted to connect the symbolic relationship humans have with ravens, and link it to our own opportunistic theft of natural resources. This piece calls out our destructive dependency on coal and oil and the transition to wind and solar energy sources.
(*Corvid is the name for the family of birds which includes ravens, crows and magpies.)
Feathers were crafted from slivers of reclaimed oak wine barrels, and assembled over a wire frame. The light fixture cord and housing pierces the body cavity to suspended the shade structure.