Delicately wielding a scalpel, Chris Maynard (previously here and here) slices into feathers to create images of the very creatures that shed them, reproducing birds of flight within his tiny found canvases. Not only is Maynard concerned about the material aesthetically, but is also interested in how humans have treasured feathers and their meaning for thousands of years.
Often Maynard places the positive cut-out next to its negative shape, making it appear as if the tiny bird is flying from the feather, or escaping its original form. Each feather varies in size and color, from the tiny and muted to large and brightly colored. The feathers used in his works are acquired legally from zoos and private aviaries, all naturally shed by birds that range from crows to peacocks.
Recently the Pacific Northwest artist, author, and naturalist has compiled his works into a book that provides detail into his creative process, the lifespan of his subject, and the symbolism of feathers titled Feathers, Form and Function. Maynard also covers the biological in the book, outlining how how feathers have evolved and grow. You can see more of Maynard’s writing and works on his blog here.