Week 28: birdsong

Listening to Birdsong (detail) ~ screen print & stitching on indigo dyed banana paper

It’s Spring and the birds are waking me up earlier and earlier each morning with their birdsong. As I listen I give thanks for where I live; this suburban setting abounds with birdlife in the paperbark forest behind and a park filled with gum trees next door.

When we lived in the Victorian high country, birdsong was a constant refrain, an orchestra of melodious sounds which woke the plants from their sleep and called us into the garden.

This week I’ve been writing my exegesis, an 8,000 word document about this project. The chapters have been divided into the process of making paper of which I’ve written in detail in this blog. Chop, Beat, Form, Pause and Birdsong. This latter chapter was a last minute addition, not technically about making the paper. Yet it was the surprise sound at the end of my sound recordings that caused me to stop and ponder its significance.

Birdsong is all about place, territory and sexual selection. According to critical theorist Elizabeth Grosz, birdsong intensifies emotions “fear, anger, joy and triumph” and opens up the world to the pleasurable forces of the body which are themselves the impulses in art.

“Living beings are vibratory beings: vibration is their mode of differentiation, the way they enhance and enjoy the forces of the earth itself.” [1]

Through birdsong, I return to an awareness of nature as the source of my material and my inspiration. Papersong has become an ode to birdsong and to nature itself.


[1] E. A. Grosz, Chaos, Territory, Art : Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 32-33.




3 thoughts on “Week 28: birdsong

  1. Lovely subtle colour in this Heather. Yes, life is lonely without the presence of birds and bird call. We have managed to gather our small family of magpie, raven and wattle bird.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s