Blog: Feathers and Flight

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 09 2020

Blog: Feathers and Flight
Featured image: Wind Beneath My Wings

I begin every day sitting in my backyard, taking in everything natural. Yesterday, a feather drifted past me. I watched as it took dips and turns, following the wind currents, until it finally landed in a tree in the woods. Feathers for me are symbolic. Flight for me is symbolic. 

I love waking after dreams of flying. I associate flying with freedom and transcendence - something very spiritual. Like dreams of flying, I have always associated finding a feather with something good. 

Recently feathers have been appearing in my work. At first they were part of my Gears Series, symbolizing the difference between something mechanical - like a gear - and something natural, freely floating in the wind - like a feather. My more recent works have been capitalizing on this thought - but my journey has moved beyond the difference between the mechanical and something freely floating. Now I am beginning to integrate these ideas – gears and feathers, and how they capture the wind.

The feather has become a powerful and integral symbol in my work – something that connects me to birds and everything natural. While I do not believe that feathers have the power to bring luck or to take away bad dreams, I do see them as symbolic icons in my work.  For me feathers represent the freedom of flight. The freedom of that feather in the wind is something glorious. 

Wind Beneath My Wings by Christine Alfery

I began to research flight, the wind, and feathers. One of the first places I looked was Leonardo da Vinci’s Flying Machine. Leonardo was completely absorbed in the concept of man flying. His drawings of a bird’s wings led to designs of a wing for humans. Based on his drawings, Leonardo was totally captivated with air and flight - and this led him to invent wings.

This is such a wonderful example of how an artist becomes inspired. It is how I become inspired. I dream of flying; I watch things that fly, and I create flight in my work – like Leonardo DaVinci, I have been inspired by the wind and feathers and flight. How wonderful to join some of my favorite artists who have been inspired by wings, feathers, and wind – like Miro and Chagall. 
Feather by Christine Alfery

I am so excited about the last several works I have created with feathers. As I look back at my works, I can see the feathers wanted to be released way back when – but I was so busy thinking about gears I did not see them. It was not until I watched that feather drift with the wind, as I thought about the freedom of the wind – only then did I actually link flight with freedom and the wind. I love where these concepts take me. I love the space they put me in, and the new journey they are taking me on. 

It is interesting how my mind went from gears to this – it is the journey.  


More Posts