(2013) AK-47 (decommissioned from active service)
Beat of a Wing (2013), is inspired by the artist’s utopian vision or fantasy, that even while the world is being slowly engulfed by man’s greed, always disguised as need, the butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere, ultimately perhaps altering the path of the planet’s condition, returning it back to an earlier prelapsarian state when man held such destructive and ravenous impulses in check and Mother Nature was left to her own devices.
The butterflies become active agents of this vision, taking hold of the AK-47 rather than simply alighting on it, their complete life process enacted on the bayonet as a declaration of the life force of Mother Nature itself. They become a statement of beauty and potency, in the face of something that brings destruction, their numbers engulfing the AK-47 and also hinting at a latent aggression and the true power of Mother Nature should it ever be fully unleashed.
The work elicits a dialogue between what initially seem like quite simple oppositions, delicate wings and harsh metal, vulnerability and strength, beauty and death, nature and man, but what initially seems straightforward unravels into something more complicated. Is such an iconic shape as the AK-47, which has brought so much suffering and death across the world, made beautiful by the butterflies on it? Are we taken in by the beauty or the destruction that lies underneath?
Is the AK-47 engulfed by the mass of butterflies made vulnerable? If Mother Nature is capable of this is she so vulnerable or actually a terrifying match to the AK-47? This leads us on to further questions. Could the initial vision of a return to some prelapsarian Eden be possible? Is it the human condition to eventually destroy each other and everything around us, or can Mother Nature in her most delicate form overcome Man & Steel?
Artist : Bran Symondson
Title : Beat of a Wing(2013)
AK-47 (decommissioned from active service)
AK-47 gun: a decommissioned AK-47, but has seen active service. Butterflies: all taken from environmentally recommended sources, from all over the world, representing the natural world in this piece. 1.2m x 0.3m x 0.6m (dimensions include display case)
Clear bullets: handmade and modelled from an AK-47, 7.62 round. Bullet fillings, each representing elements of the man- made world:
Coal (fossil fuel),
Dried Fish (damage to the oceans),
Pesticide (destroying natural habitats),
Sugar (global over farming),
Saw Dust (rain forest deforestation),
Oil (ozone, cars, harmful gases, pollution),
Fertiliser (destroying the natural balance through over farming),
Man (the one that is responsible, greed, disguised as need),
Your Name (a real brass blank round, the bullet that has your name on it).
Display case: handmade in England