Have you ever wished you could fly through the sky? For artist Chris Maynard, this thought and the desire to fly is the inspiration behind his exquisite bird-inspired art. He carves, cuts and slices found feathers to transform plumage into tiny works of art.
The level of intricacy in his works varies from a flock of birds soaring through the sky to a pair of cranes intertwined in a single feather. “I can't fly as birds can but I can get closer to flight by using feathers in my art,” Maynard tells My Modern Met. “Feathers are three-dimensional; so if I flatten them against a background, it sort of takes the flight out of them. I had to figure out how to carve them while keeping their three-dimensional shape.”
The artist manages to carve a variety of shapes and lines in spite of the delicacy of the material. These pieces capture different species of birds, worms, patterns, and even people. “I am constantly observing birds and feathers,” he continues. “Birds' flight inspires a kinesthetic feeling in my body with each swoop and soar. I try to recreate this sense of movement in my own art.”
You can learn more about the “evolution, function, and symbolism” of feathers in Maynard's book Feathers, Form & Function, which is available through his website, and keep up to date with his latest projects by following the artist on Instagram.