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Walker Christine

Walker Christine

Walker Christine

http://www.christinewalkerart.com

christine@christinewalkerart.com

416-418-8422

I have been exploring the relationship between birds and urban spaces in my art work and research for the last few years. My current work is a continuation of the exploration I began during my Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, which I graduated from in 2012. My thesis project was titled 'Fenestration', and explored bird-building collisions through painting, photography and collage. I was researching the visual perception of birds, and using collage as a metaphor for the fragmented and disoriented vision that birds may experience in urban spaces. The city of Toronto is located on a flight path used by millions of migratory birds. It is estimated that 1- 10 million of these birds are killed annually in Toronto due to collisions with tall buildings. For some of the artwork, I use information about human and avian vision systems and their function, or ‘dysfunction’ within the context of bird-building collisions to guide my collage-making process. Birds have multiple foveae, so they can see several parts of their field of vision in focus, while humans only have one. Therefore some areas of the work may appear blurred, while others are more focused. Migratory songbirds also have a very narrow field of binocular vision. I use this information when considering the illusion of depth within the collages. Referencing linear perspective, I attempt to create some sections that appear very flat or two-dimensional, and suggest the illusion of depth in other sections to reference the stereopsis of birds. The cutting and merging together of materials and information functions as a metaphor for their fragmented and disoriented vision of birds in an urban environment. I am interested in further blurring the lines between the painted areas and my photographs, so that it becomes difficult to distinguish one from the other. It alludes to the forced merging of these two worlds – the built and the natural. I experiment with different media within the collages to intervene and merge the photographic images together. Some of these interventions allude to the split second glimpses of things that birds could see while in flight. The palette I use includes colours that represent the birds themselves, as well as the ultraviolet spectrum that birds are able to perceive. The transitions from painted to photographic areas create a sort of visual fluctuation through the collages, further referencing the correlation between the fragmented vision of birds and their disorientation when these two environments overlap. I am interesting in pursuing the fluctuations of this impossible balance between the built and the natural environments in my current and future art work.