Flight of the Chicken Wire
Mixed Media on Chicken Wire, Installation and Public Artwork, 2008-2010,
Flight of the Chicken Wire began as a 120 in. x 120 in., piece of chicken wire, mounted on a wooden frame. I wove various materials through the “thin, flexible galvanized wire, with hexagonal gaps.” I specifically choose to weave the chicken wire structure because it is literally an oversized grid. Chicken wire (the raw material) is traditionally used to restrain the movement or prevent the escape of chickens. This structure was the ultimate visual representation of the constructs and restrictions that weigh down women within society.
Flight of the Chicken Wire, (Figure 18) now hangs at 108 in. x 108 in., as molded, three-dimensional form that has been interpreted by different viewers as a “butterfly, a Native American shaman in mid-flight during ceremonial dance, an angel, or as Jesus on the Cross, a couture fashion design or a bad-ass kimono.” These descriptions are from viewers who have shared their feelings and impressions about the artwork with me. I have not assigned or associated the piece with a specific descriptive name other than Flight of the Chicken Wire, which refers to its base material and to the possibilities in the use of recycled items. I have intentionally not given it a figurative name because I am more interested in the interpretation and the exchange of energy between the viewer and the artwork.