In recent years I have been exploring the possibilities of cramming a story about birds into space made inside old books to try to get across the sense I have of birds living with us yet inhabiting their own world. Stories belong in books, and books should be old, cloth bound, well-thumbed and beautiful. The books I use are about to be sent to landfill or I rescue them from boot-sales and charity shops, and generally those that have had huge print runs so I’m not destroying anything rare. I fill them with birds and dogs made from paper clay I make myself, paper cut from old gardening books, and other odds and ends. I’m still not all that comfortable about cutting up a book but it’s better than seeing them thrown away.
Along with the birds in my books you will often find a small, flowery person. This is Polly. She used to live inside my head but increasingly she is telling her own stories. She has some very odd ideas about birds, particularly what it is and isn’t polite to do around them. This has caused a series of books to happen, called ‘Bird Etiquette’. There is a further series of books called ‘Observed Birds’ which is my take on The Observer Book of Birds and is a lot more lies about birds.
These books tend to come with me to craft fairs or make the odd appearance in an exhibition. Please contact me through my contact page if you’d like more information about them. In the meantime, here’s a taster of the ‘Bird Etiquette’ series.