Emu Standoff

Sheikh, Age 17

  • Painting
  • Acrylic paint on board
  • 1200(w) 1200(h) 8(d) mm

Flighted birds are a powerful metaphor, one that I am personally invested in and is very enjoyable to investigate through my art. I was first inspired by parrots - beautiful and vibrant plumages, charming personalities and odd habits. The subversions of the metaphor (in depictions of caged birds, or the metaphor of clipping wings as examples) were the main theme for this piece: the two emus are intensely circling and staring each other down in a vast, soft landscape. I enjoyed trying to capture a surreal aesthetic and a lighter mood – layering the plumage with paint to create a built-up texture, and using very loose brushstrokes for many of the elements. Also, emus are quite funny-looking.