What the Bird Eats / by Chris Maynard

 Eat 1 (detail)

Eat 1 (detail)

Just like us, a bird’s body and feathers are assembled from what it eats. I find it a wondrous piece of the natural world that a wren can make feathers from digesting the bugs it eats just as our bodies can amass themselves from milk when we’re babies and later from food like rice and beans or burgers and fries.

Recently, I awoke at night with this as new and prolific topic for feather shadowboxes: birds and what they eat. I was excited and quickly sketched thirty or so before I made myself stop. I felt a pang of frustration because there are endless design possibilities for this theme but I could not possibly find enough time to make all but a small portion of them.

Lying in bed after my sketch fest, my amplified awareness of the assembling of life and disassembling at death cycle of eating was overwhelming and I needed to lie back down and breathe deeply to let these thoughts incorporate into my cells. Then I fell asleep for the rest of the night.