The stillness is incredible; a Barred Owl sleeps in the tree. She wakes occasionally when she hears me, checking out the disturbance before returning to her rest. I watch her preen her feather coat, stretch out her powerful talons, and I name her Beatrice.
I didn’t hear her leave the branch; it was before 5.30pm. But then, hearing birds cries frantically in protest of her presence, I walk towards the commotion; three meters in front of me or less, there she is, sat silently, gracefully on a branch at eye level with me. She had seen me long ago, of course. Staring one another in the eye, I was completely mesmerised and having lost my breath, I stumble backwards through the trees to the studio to reach for my camera. She let me return to her, but as I approached closer for a photo ﬂew off to a nearby higher branch above the dirt track, still perfectly in view, not afraid or affected by my presence- always in total control.
The ﬁrst movement of the work explores this mystical character- her grace, power, and overriding stillness. The second holds more focus and intent, adrenaline pumping.