The global pandemic of 2020 resulted in the postponement of my original third year self-directed project at the Technical University of Dublin. Looking around for ideas for a new project that I could do under the restrictions I consulted my many ideas notebooks, made a list, and decided to photograph my collection of birds, rubber ducks, ornaments, jewellery and so on. They were to hand and did not require travel or access to people or places. Initially I did not realise just how many bird related objects I owned, or the significance birds have had in my life.
I already had some A4 sheets of coloured paper and was able to buy more in my local school supply shop, so they became my backdrops. I made a series of mini tabletop studios utilizing what was to hand, recycled packaging, black and white card, tin foil, bulldog clips, tissue paper, thumbtacks etc. I used available light from a south-facing window in my office - the spare bedroom - I also shot overhead with objects flat on the ground.
Behind the kitsch is a story about my Dad. When I was young, he had an aviary at the end of our back garden where he bred budgies and canaries. As a child I was always drawing, I only remember my Dad drawing birds in profile with a biro on the backs of used brown envelopes. I searched my Mum’s house looking for one of my Dad’s drawings but could not find any.