Honouring the long tradition of stories and myths in which creatures and gods shape-shift between swan and human, Swan Arms is a series of photographs that explore this human-avian crossover.
At first glance so alien in their contortions, they could easily be a feathered coat with a human arm inside before the realisation that these swans are grooming, maintaining, and oiling their feathers . Photographed from above as the swans stood on the riverbank, the background was then digitally removed to black, so like the real thing they appear to float and glide above the surface.
This series also explores these ideas in a video work A Coat for Icarus. The sound tracks a human heartbeat, as it increases a feathered form, transforms between jacket, samurai costume and flapping creature. Slowing back to a steady rhythm, the form changes again into what could be the internal organs beating and morphing. Regaining its coat-like form, the lungs are visible and the effort of flight palpable, it appears to shake its hands as if to rid itself of the exertion. The blend of visual and sonic beating together is mesmerising and ethereal. A visual abstracted metaphor for the human body, which eloquently expresses the muscular effort of flight and what that might physically feel like, a human-avian metamorphosis.