ENCOUNTER (a piece updated)

by Chantal

Encounter, 2011. Peacock feathers, fabric, thread.

Detail from "Encounter"

I have been mulling over a piece for a while now that I made in 2009. It was the peacock covering over an iron bed. I just haven’t been happy about it – I still really liked some aspects of it but overall felt that it was too confusing. It didn’t really convey what I wanted clearly. On one hand I liked the fact that people read different things into it but on the other I felt that it was a bit of a cop out because I knew for me it wasn’t expressing the feeling I had envisaged. I think that is why its the only piece I never titled.

Original piece, 2009

I had come to the decision to take the image off my portfolio but couldn’t bring myself to let the peacock feather assemblage go. When I viewed that on its own I felt the same excitement about it that I first did two years ago. On its own it has more strength and focus. It seems to now represent the intensity of an extraordinary encounter that I first hoped it would.  So I have come to the decision to re-display the piece in this way and to now give it it’s appropriate name, Encounter.

Without the distraction of the bed the viewer is caught in the stare of the searching eyes. I think the returned gaze gives it a connection that was missing before. Instead of something the viewer is observing they are now part of the interaction. They can now be the one caught in the unbelievable moment of encountering 300 peacocks parading their splendour, or of feeling reality drop away as they are consumed by the intensity of a lover’s eyes.