Feathers mark nature’s pinnacle of achievement: the intersection of function and beauty. They make flight possible; insulate against water, sun and wind; and their colors and patterns help them hide and attract mates. To Chris Maynard, each feather is a small bit of perfection. When birds shed or discard their feathers every year, he recycles them in his art.
“My ideas are inspired by the birds themselves like a flight sequence or a certain pose. Or they are inspired by the shape or color of a particular feather. Or they are inspired by an attribute of feathers: flight, transcendence, hope, bridges between worlds and escape. They are in our dreams. They are full of metaphor.”
“Shed feathers represent a gentleness, a refuge from life’s harshness. The birds grow, and shed them and yet they retain their beauty, their complex structure and something of the essence of the bird. As an artist, I want to capture an essence of life and and what better way than to begin with something that already holds some of the essence I am trying to capture. Feathers are perfect art works by themselves.”