Returning to our motel room from the Santa Fe square, I noticed a man squatting in a park looking like he was sticking flags in the ground. It was dusk and I wondered what the occasion was. The next morning when we walked to the Santa Fe farmer’s market in the Rail Yard, I saw it had not been flags but porcelain birds. These birds were beautiful artwork of Christy Hengst, and they were on quite a mission.
These birds wear screen printing from newspapers and pictures done in a cobalt blue. When Christy began to question the Iraq war, she began to question all wars and war-like behavior of humans. So she created these porcelain birds that fly in somewhere in early evening and are gone the next evening. People who stop to admire the birds might read and might begin to question things themselves. She hopes people will wander through the flock of birds and read them. She has screen printed the images on wet clay but the birds are sturdy.
The touring art project is known as “Birds in the Park”, and it has appeared in several U.S. locations and a few European ones as well.