Yesterday I went to Galerie René Blouin to see a tribute exhibition of Betty Goodwin's work. It seemed a fitting place to go and pay homage because René Blouin was a great friend of Betty Goodwin's and represents her work (as well as the work of another of my favourite artists, Kiki Smith).
There were prints, assemblage, sculpture, drawings, and paintings. The smallest work in the show caught my eye. While I am quite familiar with much of Betty Goodwin's work, I hadn't encountered this piece before. It was a small plexiglass box with the skeleton of a small bird attached by wire to a metal plate and a handful of long black hair coiled like a nest beneath it. The bird's skeleton was mostly exposed with some evidence of dried flesh. It was exquisite. Typical of Betty Goodwin's work, it was stark yet tenderly vulnerable.
I was drawn to the tiny pearlescent feet of the bird and was immediately taken back a few months ago to a bird that flew into our window and did not survive. At that time, I was moved by the fragile beauty of this dead bird and I photographed it. Revisiting these photos, triggered by and connected to the piece I viewed yesterday, and experienced in the state of melancholy that I have been inhabiting lately, gives me great comfort. I share some of those photos with you now and perhaps the emotion which accompanies them.