Andrea Avery
Curtail Sonnet
Storytelling translates experience and observation into manageable conceptions of events, locations, and relationships. My work juxtaposes ideals of beauty and domesticity in a seemingly mundane context, while exploring the hidden aggression of narrative restructuring.

“A little birdy told me so”, as well as, “to watch [someone] like a hawk” are both widely used idioms in the English language. The bird, as a symbol of surveillance, can be traced as far back as the Bible. “Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.” (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

Curtail Sonnet explores the existence of such a cultural symbol as evidence of a cultural yearning for a medium of surveillance that stems from the human impulse to spy and eavesdrop. Parrots have been widely used as storytelling tropes in popular culture. They are often used to reveal an important secret about a character. This role of the parrot can be traced back to folktales from the Far East. In these tales, the talking parrot warns the deceived. In China, for example, the representation of a parrot was used as a symbolic warning to women to be faithful to their husbands.
In this installation's particular narrative, the woman is the protagonist. Her only representation is a single undergarment hung on the wall. On the adjacent wall the trophy heads of parrots adorn the space to symbolize the metaphorical life and death of a relationship with a past lover. All that remains are the lovers' whispers that come from the single cage. The cage is constructed of silk, a material that is both strong and fragile, transparent and enticing, that has captured and repeated the pillow talk whispers of the once licit lovers.
I use found and inherited objects to help emphasize the personal aspect of this narrative. Recycled elements, faded colors, and layered/collaged backgrounds all play a part in this process. The roles of the voices were provided by strangers and friends, old lovers, poets, writers, and musicians. The only commonality is that these whispers are intended to be something that were only meant for their lovers' ears.
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