Bowerbird: The Gentleman
This is one of four ensembles I created for my art installation at the Oceanside Museum of Art, Birds of a Different Feather. The installation features male garments as the centerpieces of dioramas portraying different bird-inspired characters. In addition to the stationary installation pieces, I took the garments out for a photo shoot because I felt that gallery mannequins wouldn’t capture the mood of the story. Model: Jayme Jordan. Photographer: Zim Killgore.
This character was inspired by a bird called the satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus). What's remarkable about this species is the male's courtship ritual. The male builds a U-shaped stick tower called a "bower" and adorns it with blue and yellow shiny things (e.g. flowers, berries, shells, plastic debris), to complement his ink-blue plumage. The female inspects the bling collection while the male performs a little dance. If she decides that he's worthy, she'll walk through the bower, signifying her consent to mate.
"The Bowerbird" is your perfect date: he has the looks, the moves, and the bling. He's ready to take you clubbing, or to a fancy restaurant, or out for a ride around town on his beautiful classic motorcycle (and obviously he brought you a matching helmet). He's confident but never rude or pushy - he waits for you to call the shots. Gentleman, at your service.
This was such a fun piece to make, and also quite an undertaking! It required the most hand sewing of all the works in the exhibit. Glueing on rhinestones one at a time is also no joke.
The curtain chandelier is supposed to be reminiscent of a bower, but unfortunately the gallery flood flights dampen the illusion and draw too much attention to the PVC pipes being used to suspend the LEDs. Oh well. It still looks pretty cool.
And yes, I restored that 1989 Honda Shadow myself!
Check out the other three birds from my exhibit: