Ann’s Artist’s Statement

July 1, 2010

I make birdhouses for birds. I make art for the people watching the birds eat.

My work is participatory. The bird eating the birdseed is present in the piece. Another bird waiting for its turn to eat is also present. The person admiring both the decorative elements of the birdhouse and the bird(s) is present. A seed and the transfer of its energy to the bird are present. Above all else, my work comments on energy.

Does the viewer focus on the animal as it feeds? Or does the viewer focus on the art? Which is more transfixing: the animal or the art? After the bird is finished eating and it flies back to its nest, will the viewer follow it and watch as it feeds its family?

The bird is unaware that it has eaten artwork, and we envy its unawareness.

My work is autobiographical yet unsentimental. As a teenager I suffered from Internet addiction. I was always online, checking and updating and lying and posting. I was overweight; my hands were smooth. I’d never created anything before and yet I considered myself to be an artist. But I wasn’t an artist. The brutal truth hit me hard one day and I ran crying into the basement where I found a box of artwork from my childhood. In it was a birdhouse I’d made in Girl Scouts. My first birdhouse. It is a self-portrait: I’d drawn my own face on the front panel. My mouth is the feeding hole, and the feeding hole is shaped like lips. Finding this piece awakened me and reminded me of who I was supposed to be. I said goodbye to my Internet friends and immediately drove to Michaels to buy birdhouse supplies.

As I explore this medium I strive to make a birdhouse as pure as that first one.

NEXT: You Let That Cat In The Clubhouse, Didn’t You?

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