Daisy Laing

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"How it is to fly free.'

‘How It Is To Fly Free’
9D3173AC-D10B-4999-9E43-D7CF7558B821Daisy Laing until 12th December.

At the end of 2019, in response to a period of illness, I created a series of paintings for a show at Daisy Laing Gallery, entitled ‘Flight of the Imagination’, the narrative of which portrayed a yellow Canary who escaped from her cage and had begun to explore the domestic, human environment of a house. I became curious about the inter-play between the Canary and human objects, by the way its scale and vibrancy enlivened and re-appropriated ordinary domestic items.

By January 2020 my thoughts had transitioned to exploring the life of an escaped canary living free in the wild but by early March lockdown had arrived and with it a collective experience of entrapment. The pace and scale of our lives changed; a quietness descended. Many of us became more intensely attuned to the sounds and sights of the natural world as spring burgeoned on, unaware of the human drama. Once again, I found myself looking with envy at the birds soaring the sky and busying themselves with nest making, mating, and singing. A verse in the song ‘ How it would feel to be free’ sung by Nina Simone encapsulated this feeling,

‘I wish I could be
Like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be
If I found I could fly

Oh I’d soar to the sun
And look down at the sea
.

Soon Lockdown eased, Black Lives Matters protests happened, statues toppled and themes of restrictions and freedoms were being discussed on a global scale. Alongside those events, my small canary was exploring and surviving; foraging, voyaging, singing, flying free – an emblem of liberation.

Natalia Hamon, October 2020