I've been collecting pottery shards for years from beaches and rivers and over the holidays I started painting animal talismans on them. I was thinking about the journeys the shards have taken, from being complete, used in daily life- a recepticle for nourishment , then broken & discarded. They are scoured of sharp edges by water, stones and sand and carried to the river or sea edge for me to pick up. I always think of the people who ate or drank from that piece of tableware and wonder how long the journey has been, the time and distance between us.
I decided to paint mainly birds and butterflys as emblems of change and passage, both have instinctive navigation systems that we don't fully understand and some can migrate vast distances over land and sea, amazing that something as delicate as a butterfly can fly across an ocean. At times though, the shape or colour of a shard will instantly bring an animal to my mind like the bear.