Black and White / by Chris Maynard

 Silver Pheasant

Silver Pheasant

After spending several years looking for matches for feathers, one black and the other white, I found several. These two are from the same species of pheasant, the silver pheasant. The black one is a subspecies called the Lewis pheasant.

Black and white is a powerful combination for an artist to work with because people attach strong meanings to these two opposites. Different peoples place different values on black and white. For instance, in southern Thailand where the black form of the silver pheasant lives, black is the usual choice for mourning and in China where a white form of the silver pheasant lives, white can be the choice. The birds just attend to their business, unencumbered with the values we place on whiteness and blackness.