This weeks reading (A bird Tapestry by David S. Rubin) was based on the use of birds and their symbolism in art and art to document scientific discovery. Artist have been using animals as symbols, from the earliest known forms of art i.e. cave paintings consisted of animals and not much else.
The bird however has taken on a prominent role in the symbolism of contemporary art. However its use has some what become cliche in its over use as a symbol. I have listed some of the meanings birds have symbolised mentioned in the readings in the diagram below.While a generic bird has many meanings, bird species have historically carried very specif meanings. In Nature and its Symbols there is a whole section dedicated just to different bird species. I have listed some of the species and their meanings below.
I would like to bring up Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison which use the bird heavily in their imagery. Their work is about the struggles with nature and artifice, in their created world nature is domesticated and controlled. Flight is also a fantasy that is depicted in the images that man can't and birds can.
Interlude, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison
Flying Lessons, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison
The Guardian, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison
I would like to bring up the horse and its role in art as symbolism and scientific discovery. The horse has been used as a symbol in imagery almost as much as birds. Horses symbolise power, grace, strength, vitality, victory, pride and lust.
Shire, Keith Carter
Bird Cage, Keith Carter