By Artist Scott Campbell
Feathers: Pheasant, Blue and Gold Macaw, Red Congo African Grey, Blue-Throate Macaw
About the thunder in the pines series
The purpose of the project is to draw the viewer closer to nature the universal village, that we all share in. All of the feathers were secured via bird sanctuaries and aviaries and are naturally molted. ‘Thunder in the Pines’ is a seven part series, with the first village appearing in Rosemary Beach. The other six villages will appear in Montauk, Geneva, London, Paris, Monaco and lastly Kyoto.
The feathered pieces represent the inhabitants of a floral mushroom village which appears overnight after a thunderstorm. Oddly enough, after weeks of crystal blue skies in Rosemary Beach, a rain/thunderstorm touched terra firma at the onset of this project a new tribe appeared.
In Japanese, the general word for mushroom, kinoko, means “child of the tree.” Mushrooms can also derive their names from characters in folklore, animals, colors, modes of life, or even utensils they may resemble. Although names certainly provide insight into the emphases of a given culture, the mushrooms themselves are universal and elude fixed boundaries. And, this is the mystery of Mushrooms as they seemingly appear overnight, growing or expanding rapidly out of nowhere. This phenomenon is the source of several common expressions including “mushrooming” (expanding rapidly in size or scope) and “to pop up like a mushroom” (to appear unexpectedly and quickly).
Mushrooms do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable. In many ways, love transcends rationale; it is risky, venturesome and upside-down affair that defies odds. Mushrooms are a tribe viewed, developmentally or historically, as a social group existing before the development of, or outside, states.
A tribe is a group of distinct people, dependent on their land for their livelihood, who are largely self-sufficient, and not integrated into the national society.
I always associate flight with feathers. Ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the center of the soul’s memory, emotion and thoughts. As immortal beings, they knew they would need a light heart to move on to the next level of spiritual awareness. According to ‘The Book of the Dead,’ upon death, the heart was weighed on the scales of justice against the feather of Ma’at. They believed that if the heart was heavier than the feather it would be eaten immediately by Ammut the Devourer, a crocodie-lion. In order to ensure a light heart, Ancient Egyptians often visualize their heart on a scale with the feather always in balance. Balance, is the key to flight, as you can’t take flight without thrust or the expelling of accelerated mass in one direction causes a force of equal magnitude in the opposite direction. It’s this equal balance that gives us wings. I believe our tribes hearts ascends when we embrace nature… only then will you become “light as a feather”.
Feathers were used for the work as a stronger embodiment of nature and to remind us of the striking beauty it holds. All of the feathers for each piece have meaning as well feathers have a healing an alpha nature. In many cultures of the world, bird feathers have profound meaning and significance in the spiritual life of people. Each feather, of each piece has a different meaning, and each feather has within it the energies of the bird it comes from.
Feathers are a natural conductor for energy. They add a higher vibration to the environment around you. A majority of the feathers are from male birds. They use their ornate, diverse, and colourful feathers to attract partner and to mark territory. Thus feathers radiate Alpha in the best possible way, via beauty.
Please keep in mind feathers are a living thing (they still radiate energy). Feathers should be cared for every other month by running a clothes steamer (the type you use to freshen a shirt/dress) over them, you’ll witness them retake their form. Each piece is a member of a tribe, and though they may go their separate ways in joining your tribe, you are now connected with a much larger tribe… you are a member of the tribe who settled in Rosemary Beach and the Universe beyond.