Artist’s statement

Emily Valentine in front of Artseat

Feathers are my paint. Over the last fifteen years I have developed my own technique and style using feathers. The source of the feathers is vital to my work. In 1999 I made Road Kill, a pair of shoes using feathers from a road kill lorikeet and this lead to my continuing use of this source when ever I can.

My work shows sympathy with the bird’s previous life and creates a new life form. The Dog Flu series (winged birdie dogs and now cats) has been well received and continue to make new work in this series.

I am now enjoying making feathered aeroplanes. With this work, I wish to discuss how we as humans now colonise the skies.

New work is always happening. In the Boxed Bird series, the bird is taking on a geometric from. The work is no longer mythical. It is now digital! The bird is confined in the space – it wants to burst out.

I have have success with my work in WOW (World of Wearable Art). I won Mac’s Bizarre Bra 2002 with Budgerigar Brassierre, and “The Work with the most WOW Factor” in 2014 with my Sulphur Creasted Frockatoo 2014. I have entered again this year!

Attitudes to wearing and owning dead animals and birds parts have changed. Is this just because of fashion, or has society become more caring of animals? I think not. I wish to stimulate the viewer, and ask them to question our callousness treatment of animals and birds, and ask how we sub-consciously classify animals – pet or pest, valued or worthless, beautiful or plain and why.

My work is well received by viewer, as the work is direct, humorous and meticulous. Children are fascinated by it. Viewers respond passionately to my work.