Saturday, March 3


I love birds.They both symbolise freedom and time; the turning of seasons and the growing up process. It is curious that their real life habits are quite far removed from the genteel qualities we have associated with them through anthropomorphism. I am far from being a 'twitcher' type but I have learnt to recognise their names and songs, and can happily watch them for hours flying backwards and forwards and practising their songs. They seem so full of character and it is easy to see how humans attributed symbolism and personalities to them.
I especially love these Songbird sculptures by Emily Sutton made out of fabric. Each is made to the real life measurements of the depicted bird. I love the illustrative style translated into 3D and the pattern that she has used to give the markings. 

Although they are very stylistic and child-like, it is obvious what each one is. Having grown up in the country, I was familiar with birds, but as an art student I both fell in love (with a human) who was Into wildlife and learnt more and more about birds, which influenced a lot of my work. The relationship is now long over, but it is impossible for me now to hear birdsong without thinking of that person. Enough time has elapsed for me to forgive the bad times and to be able to nostalgically look back at the fun times I had and that for a period of time, they meant the world to me and I believe I meant that to them. We would often spend weekends going for walks or having picnics in the countryside and spent a lot of time at the local nature reserve watching the world go by and giggling over coffee out of a thermos. At that exact time in my life it was bliss. 
We fed the birds in his garden and made up stories about the families that flew by the bird table and named the hedgehogs under the shed. I chose to remember not the tears but long balmy summer nights spent sitting squashed up together on the kitchen step outside with a glass of red wine and the stars twinkling, hearing an occasional splosh from the pond, before waking up to the sound of the loony wood pigeon, caw of the magpies and chirping from sparrows.

Emily's work is inspired by nostalgia, particularly relating to childhood. She studied in Edinburgh and spent a lot of time at the toy museum gaining ideas and honing her quirky style. I loved the taking of something ordinary and making it beautiful and preserving happy memories. So many artists deal with pain, politics and the Big Questions, that it is lovely to see some work full of gentle whimsy.

Below prints from a recent collection; images courtesy of

Find more Art to Heart at Midlife Single Mum!


  1. This is a beautiful post anf thank you for joining the Art I Heart linky. I an hopin git will catch on one of these days but I intend to continue with it anyway and would love you to join me.
    I'm not so into birds but I love love love Emily Sutton's two pictures that you show underneath - I have a weakness for both dressers full of crockery and dollhouses. xxx

  2. What a lovely post. I have a 'thing' about birds too which is subtly (I hope!) reflected around our home. Reading your post has reminded me that my own love of birds is linked to my childhood and to my relationship with my Dad. You may well have inspired a future post on my blog :)

    The Emily Sutton pieces that you share here are lovely. I am off to investigate Emily's work further... Jx

    1. Ooh i'll keep my eyes peeled and hop over to yours then! I love things inspired by loved ones and how they translate through into adult life. A real legacy to be remembered.

  3. This was a lovely post. Full of feeling and flow. The birds are really rather eccentric and curious.