The LoveNest Series
In an age of refugees and homelessness I believe everyone deserves a safe affordable place to
live, somewhere loving, warm, and comfortable to go at end of day: a LoveNest.
I collect and study nests; I have about 30. They vary in size from that of a bar of soap to that of a
football. I am intrigued by the intricate care and brilliant instinctual engineering that goes into
their construction. Instinct is such an alien term to us when Nature can teach us so much if we
take the time to look.
We've lost the ability to build our own homes by ourselves where our immediate ancestors had no
choice. We now have others build for us thoughtlessly often in areas susceptible to natural
disasters, floodplains, barrier reefs and fire hazard forests.
Yet from the garden window of my house in Queens I watch city birds confidently scout-out a safe
location in the space between branches. From the detritus of Nature and humankind they begin
to weave. My favorite nests are those that incorporate plastic, especially plastic audio-cassette
tape, plastic straws, candy wrappers, all woven to support the feathers, then the eggs, and then
the chicks, then the abandoning. Then I collect them.
I sometimes build my own nests out of willow and grapevine; it's a bizarre experience to weave a
nest around myself; easy for me as I have two arms and two legs where a bird is clearly armless,
it's arms long-ago having developed into wings. Yet they weave using beak, claw and instinct.
And the results are awe-inspiring.
They inspire me to freely associate with their shape and form on wet watercolor paper.
And other shapes materialize as the watercolor dries.
The vortex shape that emerges reminds me of the late-career vortex paintings of J.M.W. Turner.
There's an analogy to the fragility of the human spirit here; in a time when we're discouraged from
nourishing ours, this series is ultimately about a safe comfortable place for our spirit to rest.
Sumi ink on paper
45 x 60 cm
18 x 24 inches
Click on the thumbnails below to see more of The LoveNest Series