Birdhouse with 24k gold leaf appliqué, hand-formed nest;
bottle containing multicolored bird leg bands;
accompanying 19” x 12.5” pencil drawing on paper.
His recent work Quesperanza (part of a collaborative fine art auction benefiting nonprofit A Rocha USA and its mission to preserve biodiversity through conservation) focuses on the word ‘migration’ and its relevance both to A Rocha’s avian habitat research and to the 82.4 million people worldwide who were forcibly displaced in 2020 “as a result of persecution, conflict, human rights violation, or events seriously disturbing public order”1. Here, a birdhouse has been sawn in two and opened to reveal an empty birds’ nest, evoking notions of the empty tomb of Jesus and related themes of resurrection and hope. Outside the empty nest/house/tomb, a glass container of hundreds of multicolored bird bands (a nod to A Rocha’s “extensive bird banding [which helps] protect [spaces] from inappropriate destruction…” 2) serve to remind the viewer of the notion of being named/numbered/known, while a companion pencil sketch further explores related themes of displacement, freedom-of-movement, migration, immigration, and home.
Paul Soupiset (°1969, San Antonio, United States) is a graphic designer, illustrator, and artist who works across a variety of media. His paintings, sketchbook projects, and found-object artworks frequently deploy texts and wordplay that invoke ‘prophetic imagination’ to call into question or subvert a prevailing consensus or status quo, offering new paths forward.
1. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2021, June 18). UNHCR Global Trends – forced displacement in 2020. UNHCR Flagship Reports. Retrieved December 19, 2021, from https://www.unhcr.org/flagship-reports/globaltrends/
2. A Rocha USA. (2021). Birdbox Art Auction. Austin, Texas; A Rocha USA.