John S. Miller/ Paper Birds

  • Snow Goose (blue morph), mixed media on cut and glued paper, 54" wingspan, 27"L X 6"D Snow Goose (blue morph), mixed media on cut and glued paper, 54" wingspan, 27"L X 6"D
  • Snow Goose Wing, Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019 Snow Goose Wing, Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019
  • Pileated Woodpecker, mixed media on cut and glued paper, 19"L X 5" W X 11"D Pileated Woodpecker, mixed media on cut and glued paper, 19"L X 5" W X 11"D
  • Dryocopus pilleatus (Pileated Woodpecker), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019 Dryocopus pilleatus (Pileated Woodpecker), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019
  • Hooded Merganser, mixed media on cut and glued paper, 15"L X 7.5" H X 6.5"D Hooded Merganser, mixed media on cut and glued paper, 15"L X 7.5" H X 6.5"D
  • Lophodytes cucullatus (Hooded Merganser), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019 Lophodytes cucullatus (Hooded Merganser), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019
  • Broadwing Hawk, mixed media on cut and glued paper, (Currently unavailable dimensions) Broadwing Hawk, mixed media on cut and glued paper, (Currently unavailable dimensions)
  • Buteo platypterus (Broadwing Hawk), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019 Buteo platypterus (Broadwing Hawk), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019
  • Belted Kingfisher, mixed media on cut and glued paper, 14.5" H X 8"W X 9"D Belted Kingfisher, mixed media on cut and glued paper, 14.5" H X 8"W X 9"D
  • Megaceryle alcyon (Belted King Fisher, Female), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019 Megaceryle alcyon (Belted King Fisher, Female), Digital print, 32.25" H x 22.25" W 2019
     

This series of images represents my paper bird project. The series combines sculpted forms and the planar graphic shapes that I've designed to build them. I'm fascinated by the contrasting challenges required to work in two and three dimensions simultaneously. I form my volumetric shapes through a direct and somewhat intuitive process by shaping the paper in my hands and responding to my eye and brain as I assess progress. But in the end I have to establish planar patterns in order to make a clean rendition of the form I've roughed out. Each time I create a new clean pattern I have to dissassemble the scuplted piece, tweak and refine the flat pattern and rebuild to the point I left off. It's like translating from the language of volume to flat and back again, thinking in more than one language without a dictionary or existent language guide. At times I'm reminded of the myth of Sisyphus as he rolls the rock up the mountain only to have it roll back down again.

I'm always interested in linking media to message and in this case paper seems to be the perfect vehicle for expressing the bird forms. The scuplted pieces are light and although fragile, they also possess a strength similar to the strength of an eggshell. The curves and folds lend a rigidity and structural integrity to the material. As wall mounted pieces they can seem to float in space and as mobiles they respond to the light air currents. Simnilar to living birds, these will last a long time if cared for.

For background information about this project click here