"A Conspiracy of Unkindness"
During the research process of this drawing, I learned a lot about ravens. These large birds are extremely playful and love rolling around in fresh snow. A group of ravens is known as an 'unkindness' or 'conspiracy'.
After learning about this intelligent bird who mates for life and lives in a fixed territory, these two words didn't seem to fit and I wanted to create a piece that is a bit of a play on words. Ravens have a very long history (dating back to Greek mythology and Pacific North West Indigenous culture) as being a trickster as well as one of the creators and protectors. I wanted to explore this contrast...this two faced approach. Through history and mythology, ravens have gotten a bad name (picture Alfred Hitchcock with his famous raven to represent his murderous themes), but is this an accurate representation of these birds? Perhaps we have created a conspiracy of unkindness towards ravens by strictly seeing them as representations of death and evil.
The lower raven on the stalk is attempting to engage the raven on the ground, but the top raven is on his own, balancing on a stalk that may or may not hold his weight. Perhaps he will be the first to take flight and find new territory and new meaning.
Graphite pencil, 2018