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01 February 2012


Between Sun and Geography by Sonya Rothwell
by Sonya Rothwell : 
mixed media on canvas : 50 x 50 cm
Painted as one 5m long artwork, then cut into sections

Sonya's thoughts about this painting :
On recent adventures in South America with my intrepid seven year old daughter Peony, we spent many hours lying on the shores of Peru, looking up :

A symphony of rhythmic flapping, swooping, weaving and soaring filled the air as thousands of migratory birds beguiled us with their feathery music; we saw how wings worked^ :

Each year these seemingly fragile creatures journey 27,000km around the world twice : Over five million individual birds comprising of 55 migratory species span 23 countries stretching from Siberia, northern China and Alaska southwards to Australia and New Zealand. : Courageously battling the elements day into night into day, they fly distances of 7,600km in just six days without stopping, at speeds of 50-55 km/h : An awe-inspiring plight :

Harmoniously in tune, the birds fly together as one congruous stream of collective consciousness hovering between sun and geograph^ : Their powerful fluid presence of forward motion speaks to me of unity, hope and freedom :

I admire their grace, will, courage and determination : We can really learn from them : As the birds, we are all connected, we are one, yet each of us unique : If only we too could live like them – as one – calmly working together :


^ from 'Bird' by Pablo Neruda

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.
Between Sun and Geography by Sonya Rothwell
Between Sun and Geography by Sonya Rothwell

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