Your Space: Flights of Fancy

October 13, 2017 - February 11, 2018

Artists have always looked to nature for inspiration, and birds have been a particular source of fascination throughout the ages. In Greek mythology Icarus embedded feathers in wax to make wings with which to escape his imprisonment, and painters from the Renaissance to today have tried to capture that famed flight on canvas. Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks reveal meticulous drawings of large-scale kites and human-powered flying machines built with structures that mimic bird anatomy.

Modern-day creative types reference nature’s flyers in architecture, fashion, and art. Ai Wei Wei’s design for the Olympic stadium in Beijing and Patrick Dougherty’s monumental sculptures made from saplings mimic bird nests on a grand scale. Fashion designers create showy and dramatic, often fanciful, clothing for runway exhibition, taking cues from the mating displays of birds showing off their colorful plumage and intricate choreography.

It’s easy to see why birds are such an inspiration: who can watch a hawk riding a thermal or a murmuration of starlings and not wish for wings of one’s own? We invite you to take a moment and let your unique creativity soar.

— Linda Whelihan, Education Curator