The trend for birds in artwork
I’ve noticed that our (there I go again) artwork featuring birds is extremely popular. And of course, I’ve been looking into it to discover why. I’ve also discussed this with others and the solution we have come up with is that birds represent freedom.
It’s interesting to note that two interior designers told me today that birds were definitely part of the latest trends in their work. One is from Britain and the other from Canada. So this isn’t exclusively an American phenomenon in the slightest.
I’ve always believed that art can help reduce stress – many studies have shown this in recent years and the demand for artwork from hospitals and medical facilities is huge. An article from seven years ago implies that birds aren’t suitable for a medical setting but I’ll be willing to bet that the writer wouldn’t say the same today.
You see, the reason this fable came about is because of an outdoor installation at a hospital of abstract birds in flight. Patients fund them disturbing and threatening. I think I would have too. No-one likes the thought of lots of huge birds hovering over them a la Hitchcock. Negative reactions from one installation doesn’t make birds ‘bad art’.
We find that people react incredibly positively to birds on the ground and in flight. When a bird is on the ground we know that it can take off at any moment and soar to the skies. We even have the expression ‘as free as a bird’. Birds in flight are equally appealing because although they are free, the additionally have the freedom to either choose their direction or see where the air currents take them. And that certainly is freedom!
Birds aren’t, I have to admit, my favorite creatures in the world and I never thought it would be possible for me to say this but I love the artwork we have on our wall of two pelicans floating on a golden ocean at sunrise. It doesn’t get more relaxing and peaceful than that.
And as this has been an unusually serious article for me, I’ll leave you with a ditty that my dad taught me when I was a little girl:
A curious bird is the pelican.
Its beak can hold more than its belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I really don’t know how the hell he can.