The Nest Project

“Who will hear the last bird sing?” a sobering thought that set me on a three and a half year journey building bird nests that ironically no bird will ever nest in.

The Nest Project to date consists of over one hundred and forty hand built nests. Some nests are hidden in found boxes and containers while other are set upon handmade plinths. Some are secured under glass, while others freely hang suspended from above to catch even the gentlest breeze.

The media used ranges from natural grasses, sticks and bark to wire, poly threads and clean trash. The only mandate set for this project was that nothing be bought new. Every item had to be on hand, bought from the Reuse Store, garage sales or gifted.

“Inspired by moody misty daylight that settles as a damp washcloth across ones face” Lidded jar covered with embroidered cloth and a wishbone. Raffia nest with plastic ferns set upon wool. The embroidery is based on bird photographs I’ve  taken.
“Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned” Grapevine, willow branches, cotton thread and plastic leaves. Nest created from shredded paper and staples.
“Beauty Belies the sky dealt violence” Memorial pole for those whose lives succumb to balloons. More info on this pole in the blog post Beauty Belies.
“off limits; return to exploration record centre” Shoe box lined with discarded Alberta map encasing a hand formed Sweetgrass nest adorned with cast off threads.
nest detail of
Detail “off limits” Sweetgrass is a native plant to this area. It is also a sacred plant used in cleansing smudge. Though here in the city it grows only in natural plant gardens.
“let your fingers do the walking” Yellow pages phone book machine stitched with red thread then manually distressed.
“no place reveals itself easily, one must sit quiet and breathe in the fragrance” Willow sticks and woven raffia nest.
“guarding the nest and dreaming of flight” Pussy willow, found cat carving, tinsel and rice paper nest, pattern tissue paper collaged over stand.
“Fragile existence, handle with care” Glass encased altered eggshells with layered nests of papier mache, grasses and corn silk. Set upon a wooden plinth covered in pigment printed altered photography.
“Where dragons rest on bended grass” Wood plinth with pigment printed imagery, maps and acrylic paint. Basketry raffia nest with polyester lining and adorned with artificial foliage.
Other side “Where dragons rest on bended grass” All photography used is my own which was altered in Photoshop Elements.
“obscure and discarded imagery” Unraveled polyester fibre and glue. Polyester fibre is strong. A petroleum byproduct touted as hypoallergenic, which it really is not. My body reacts to working with it and wearing it. Give me cotton or linen which at least breaks down and will someday continue on in the grand cycle of life. Where will these man made materials end up? 
“and the queen was in her counting house…” Altered online box template, red thread strung glass button. Box opens to reveal text and a wishbone wrapped in red thread. The repetitive words “Who will hear the last bird sing”

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The Nest Project, mixed media & textile art.

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