Artist Chris Maynard continues to create captivating cut-outs of birds emerging from natural feathers. Like his past pieces, the Washington-based artist’s new light-as-air works are showcased as a series of stunning shadowboxes.
Using an eclectic collection of feathers (usually from species native to areas outside of America), Maynard crafts one-of-a-kind, ethereal works of art. Each feather, which is acquired from private aviaries and zoos, is turned into a surreal masterpiece by employing unique tools like eye surgery forceps, scalpels, and magnifying glasses to “carve” each feather into awe-inspiring scenes of birds in flight.
Through intricate cuts and a meticulous eye for detail, silhouettes of birds emerge from the feathers, which appear to gracefully disintegrate as the flocks fly, dive, and soar from the plumage. Each piece is set against fine archival cotton papers, which allow their colors, textures, and unique patterns to pop from each shadowbox.
In addition to admiring their natural beauty and artistic capabilities, Maynard favors feathers for their intrinsic role in nature. “Feathers mark nature’s pinnacle of achievement: the intersection of function and beauty,” he expresses on his website. “They make flight possible; insulate against water, sun and wind; and their colors and patterns help them hide and attract mates.” With such an avian affinity, it is no surprise that Maynard boasts a background in both biology and ecology. Through his feather shadowboxes, he creatively combines his two passions: art and the natural world.
All images via Chris Maynard.
Thanks for the tip, Annie!