Unfortunately, I was unable to keep last terms’ goshawk painting on the wall, due to the limited space in the department. So, I decided to utilise the situation by creating piece of video art documenting its’ removal. Donning a traditional boiler suit, I recorded myself painting out the Goshawk using a roller and paintbrush.
The video acts as a metaphor for the decimation of bird of prey species around the UK as a result of human activity and urbanisation. The industrial nature of the problem is highlighted by the boiler suit worn by me, whilst I paint out the bird.
The fact that I am not facing camera indicates that perhaps society are unaware /wilfully ignorant of the effect humanity is having on the surrounding environment. However, as I steal a glance at the camera at the end of the video, I finally address the audience. This acts as a metaphor for humanity finally acknowledging their effect on the environment, as is needed if we are to clean up what we have done.
By speeding up the process in the video and layering opacity, creating the impression of more than one worker painting out the bird, I portrayed how humanity as a whole is responsible for this issue rather than one individual.
Finally, a major theme in this piece is a personal one. As I erase the goshawk, I erase what it stood for; the messages of last terms portfolio, as seen in Austringers’ manifesto, and A love song to the flying death of the northern woods. I erase the separation of humanity bird, and I erase how I expressed so fervently that birds must be viewed as objective creatures.
I intend this to kick-start my ideas for this term. Whilst I still hold true to the values I expressed last term, I will allow myself to explore the more subjective relationship between humanity and birds; how they may interact in a more poetic, fanciful way, and how they may find solace or even pain in each other.
As I erase what I stood for, I allow myself to gain a subjective view of this piece itself. The death of such a large portrayal of a goshawk, the most elusive of raptors, feels a little like the death of an old god.