Monday, February 24, 2014

Hand-painted Feathers by Rebecca Jewell

Rebecca Jewell lived in Papua New Guinea in 1982 for a year, and found inspiration for her work in the birds who were important to the people there and the incredible feather headdresses they made.

"Birds and feathers are my fascination and inspiration." - the artist shares.

The artist studied anthropology at Cambridge University in 1985 and gained a PhD from London's Royal College of Art  in the department of Natural History Illustration. She is currently is artist in residence at both the London Metropolitan University and the British Museum where she is researching and drawing feather-work from Oceania. 

"Over the past years I have drawn and painted feathers and birds, and explored how they have been used to enhance and decorate humans. I am also aware of the plight and precarious status of many species, which I wanted to represent in the delicacy of the image on the feather." - from National Archives of Australia.

She uses "ethically sourced" feathers for her work from various sources, where possible. She begins with making a photo-plate and inking it up and run it through the etching press to print the image onto the feather. Her work has been exhibited world over including London, America, Singapore, Germany, Japan and Australia. Her work was selected for Waterhouse Natural History Prize where ‘Owl Feathers: after Thorburn.’ was awarded Highly Commended piece in 2012.