Requiem (Fabric of the Cosmos)

In late winter of 2013, during a late afternoon walk, I found a dead crow on WMU’s campus in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was in perfect condition – no apparent injuries or illness – and was strikingly beautiful against the snow. I had been drawing and sculpting crows and ravens for several years at that point, and had been thinking that perhaps I’d reached the end of corvid-related work in my studio.

Not so. The bird wound up in my freezer and eventually became the model for these drawings.

I felt compelled to honor this particular bird with larger-than-life drawings, which turned into rather punning, playful works about the nature of being – questions about sacredness, the shape of the universe, evolutionary connectivity, etc.

I chose to present the drawings on fabric scrolls inspired by Japanese kakejiku, with each section of the scroll having significance: the top or “ten” section representing heaven; the bottom or “chi” section representing earth and the “hashira” side pillars joining the upper and lower sections together. The ten is larger than the chi, as these scrolls were traditionally placed in tearooms and viewed from a low angle. Accordingly, the crow in these drawings hovers in an indeterminate space between heaven and earth.