Members gallery

bird cloud

Dawn White Beatty

December 9th, 2020 - January 5th, 2021 (extended)


bird cloud 

bird cloud, the magical movement of a flock of birds through air. That flash of flight that stays in the mind and makes you wonder in nature’s world, the complexity of this moment is achieved by reproduction over years and generations of living birds and natural selection for pattern, character, and instincts. 

In my studio world, I search for printmaking and painting methods and hand-forming processes that can produce a reproduction of those patterns and forms in ways that shadow the perfect productions of the living birds.

This site-specific installation was developed to activate the space of the light-filled Centre [3] Members Gallery, I wanted to see what a cloud of birds would look and feel like in that good space.

The work consists of 150 paper birds formed from soft Hahnemühle printmaking paper, carrying marks and images on their bodies that represent for me illusive qualities of ‘bird-ness’- joy of air, winds and flight; feather pattern and camouflage developed by evolution through time; symmetry, magnetic field and coordinated movement; alertness to light quality, shadow and reflection; safety in numbers, flock style. I made these marks loosely and abstractly, in printmaking mediums of monotype, monoprint, drypoint and stamping and also including some mixed media painting and graphite drawing. 

bird cloud hangs within the centre of the gallery space, casting moving shadow onto the bare walls, absorbing and reflecting the studio’s overhead lighting and the natural daylight and nightlight offered by the streetscape window, and performing a constant slow dance of movement from air currents and human activity near it.

Through the lens of time, transformation, memory, and spirituality I explore the ways the earth teaches, guides and speaks. I try to understand these messages and interpret them through the multidisciplinary processes of my work following nature’s thoughts and my own.

Artist BIO

I work across many mediums…drawing, painting, sculpture and installation, printmaking, poetry and text gathering, paper-making, book-arts and paper casting, collage, photography… the spontaneous and surprisingly spunky dialogues that result among materials are important catalysts in the working out of my personal stories of earth memory and female experience.

Past related exhibitions include Art Gallery of Hamilton, McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinburg ON, SOHO20 Gallery, NYC, Hamilton Artists Inc ARC, Carnegie Gallery Dundas ON, Women’s Art Resource Centre, Toronto, James North Studio, Transit Gallery, Hamilton.

I live on the Niagara Escarpment and in the Temagami boreal forest of Northern Ontario. I like the voices of these two unique environments to have their way in my work…great teachers and teachings arrive at surprising moments in nature and learning to listen and wait in stillness for them has great rewards.

Dawn White Beatty

Exhibition is generously supported by: