The Ruffled artworks continue Dominic Harris’s fascination with personifying animals within an abstracted display. In the Ruffled artwork, he turns his attention to the world of ornithology and creates living portrait studies of the birds he is most intrigued with.
Through a curated selection of twenty birds, each is brought to life through a startlingly life-like virtual representation on screen. At first the birds appear to be merely posing for a still life, but when the viewer approaches the birds become alive, beckoning further interaction with the viewer as it displays its personal attributes.
Each bird is initially presented as though it is ‘almost’ a still-life portrait. If observed closely, one will see that the bird is actually moving gently, but in a passive state. One might see the breathing or an occasional twitching, but really the bird is trying to stand still as if for a photographic portrait.
As the viewer approaches the artwork the bird begins to respond. Each species of bird has its own unique characteristic and charm. While some birds immediately exhibit behaviors that are endearing and entertaining, there are other birds who at first appear more solemn and independent and will take their time to warm up to the viewer before performing their unique jumps, hops, and head bops. Some birds are clearly of a more nervous and twitchy disposition while others are self-confident performers.
The twenty species of bird have been selected by the artist for their own unique combinations of beauty, scarcity, and specific characters and personalities. He anticipates that they be collected either individually or as part of a larger set, and the birds are exhibited on one of three size of artworks in reflection of their true scale.