Feathers plucked from dead heron
cut with sharp stone
stripped down one side
about three-and-a-half feet overall length
made over three calm days
smell from heron becoming pungent as each day warmed up
Swindale Beck Wood, Cumbria
24- 26 February 1982
© Andy Goldsworthy
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Diary: 23rd/24th, 25th, 26th Feb.
worked more on yesterday's heron
feathers - extended - better
a good work.
heavy frost at first.
used stone with
to cut feathers
then stripped one
Heron smelling - had to
hold breath when plucking.
About 3 1/2 feet in length.
26th cloudy, still calm.
[AG made a brief sketch to work out the shape of this work. On the adjacent page, he noted technique for spliiting the feathers:' cut with stone with sharp edge, stripped down middle - not easy!'. Overleaf, he made a much more worked up sketch across two pages.]
AG explained his use of feather in the 1983 documentary 'Triangle':
'I chopped off with a stone the bottom shaft/part of the feather and the top of the feather then peeled down the centre to reveal the white inner shaft... So in a way I killed off the initial appearance of the feather but what I hoped to get was the essential quality of feather. I won't accept things on the surface, I want to go a bit deeper, I want to get under the surface. It would not only express how I was feeling about the particular material but how I feel about Herons and birds and that whole area. ' [AG, 'Triangle', Border Television, 1983]
AGA: S/Bk_004, col. illus. [two sketches]
Rain (1985), col. illus., pp. 39- 41
Collaboration (1990), col. illus.
Listed in Clive Adams, Hand to Earth (1990), p. 174:
Feathers plucked from dead heron / cut with sharp stone / stripped down one side / about three-and-a-half feet overall length / made over three calm days / cold mornings / frost / smell of heron becoming more pungent as each day warmed up
SWINDALE BECK WOOD, CUMBRIA
24-26 FEBRUARY 1982
3 Cibachrome photographs
each 35.5 x 22.5 (14 x 8 7/8)
2 Cibachrome photographs
each 25.7 x 39 (10 1/8 x 15 3/8)
joined 29.5 x 69.5 (11 5/8 x 27 3/8)
framed 64 x 174 (25 1/4 x 68 1/2)
Carlisle Museum and Art Gallery
Colour 35mm slide;
Film: Kodachrome 64;
AGA location: 82/Feb/D;
No. of images: 1/21 [Others: S/C; 82/Feb/D; 82/Mar/A];
Archival Disk: 1982_001