This is a commissioned painting inspired by past pieces such as 'Down to the Wire' and 'No Junk Mail'. The couple that commissioned this were torn between a painting with letterboxes or native birds. It was a easy fix to combine both themes, and 'A Box of Birds' unfolded. I realized that others would also enjoy this fun loving painting. Therefore to share it, I decided to add the meaningful details important to them after it was scanned for prints, leaving them with their own special version.
This piece reveals our iconic native owl the Ruru. It brings with it, a moody atmosphere that is inspired by the haunting call of this cute little owl. In Māori tradition this nocturnal bird of prey was seen as a watchful guardian. It belonged to the spirit world as it is a bird of the night. Although the More-pork (English name for it's sound) or Ruru's call was thought to be a good sign, the high pitched, piercing, yelp call was thought to be an ominous forewarning of bad news or events. The windows, which are often seen throughout my paintings reflect the spiritual nature in this piece. They symbolize the watchful observer in ones self, from a perspective of being detached and observing ones own behaviour. From this point of perspective its believed that someone can continuously self improve, or become more enlightened.
This cheeky, charismatic native bird would have to be one of my favorites. They are another one of our national treasures, we are so lucky to have to privilege to protect these rare creatures. I painted this piece to celebrate this much loved bird, and bring awareness to the importance of their survival.