I found this dead bird the other day and couldn't resist picking him (don't know the gender, thought of him as a he) up to draw in the park. It was the most surreal moment. I had been sketching ideas for a bird pendant as I have been feeling very 'fertile' lately and wanted to do a piece with eggs. I had been thinking about ways to research birds as they are hard to view in the wild, when I saw this bird lying next to Brampton City Hall. It had obviously died recently and I pondered whether it was just knocked out. But I could feel through my gloves that his neck was broken from hitting the window I assume. I instantly thought of my jewellery artist friend from my BA at OCAD Annie Tung, because I saw her learning taxidermy on her facebook page. You can see her latest piece on her website
www.shesmiledandran.com . I also thought of Julia DeVille (
) a jewellery artist I interviewed during my MA in Birmingham UK. She does beautiful work, also with dead animals, and I loved the idea I got from her, that when she taxidermies an animal it's like bringing it back to life. Personally, I am not at the stage, or place in my life where I could or would want to literally take the body of this bird and cut, or use it in my art. I thought about it, but I would rather just study it. Even placing it in a box till I got to the park made me feel guilty. And this blue jay kept coming by and yelling loudly and I couldn't help but feel he was calling to his friends saying, 'an evil human has got one of our deceased!' I got over that and drew him and gently handled him. First with gloves, then I got bold and held him in my bare hands. I couldn't help but feel like my interest in eggs, fertility, birth and death were all connected, and I started to think that maybe I wanted to come to terms with my own mortality before having children. Or maybe when you have children you do look at your own mortality, because it is inevitable that they will live longer than you, if they live to be your age. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my drawings and photos. As you can see I returned him to the earth and thanked him (or her) in my mind for the time I had with him. I am going to post more on this enquiry as I try to figure out what kind of bird he was (a warbler?) and continue my research into birds and fertility. Enjoy, if you have any interest or ideas on my process or my thoughts, feel free to comment. :) Rickson

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Comment by Rickson on December 15, 2009 at 7:37pm
Thanks Marta! You can follow my work here. I have just had a bit of a Christmas rush with my 'fine' jewellery line: www.ricksonjewellery.etsy.com, so I haven't been posting, but I have lots of pictures and projects waiting to be posted. :)

I am about to post about a cane commission I am doing. Hopefully I will finish it before the library closes. I have been working more on this 'fertility', bird inspired piece, but haven't had time to upload my progress. Hopefully over the holidays, when no one can order pieces anymore. :)

A friend of mine, Ken Vickerson let me know that the bird is a Golden Crowned Kinglet. And his wife is a member of FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) a volunteer group who among other things lobbied owners of office towers to turn off their lights during bird migration seasons as the lighted office towers would lure the unsuspecting migrating birds into collisions with the buildings downtown. Very interesting group.

Your words are very encouraging. And I did wonder if the animals around me knew what was going on. I didn't think of the birds family because he/she was at City hall, so a lot of concrete. But now that I think of it, the birds family might has been living in a tree at City Hall. I really felt like the Blue jay was talking to me though. But I liked that he kept flying near by, like he was keeping watch of his fellow bird friends. :)

Comment by Rickson on November 20, 2009 at 5:32pm
Isn't he? I wanted to keep him...but felt guilty for it.

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