With these images she took off into the limitless potential of life – its beauty, its abstraction in endless options.
The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds, is a visual document containing unexpected portraits and abstract ideas personified through her eyes.
Indian Peafowl.IV 2012
Historically, people have festooned themselves with feathers to enhance their power, symbolize strength and nobility.
The international symbol of peace is a white bird with an olive branch.
Alternatively, birds have also been agents of cruelty and deception.
Think of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven or Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds,
Birds seem to carry our deepest emotions – their flight can literally carry us away.
Resplendent Quetzal.VI 2012
Superb Lyrebird.IX 2012
Samuel’s photographs of feathers, nests, eggs and birds are a soaring conclusion to her meditation on what it means to be alive.
And, she arrived here through a consideration of the meaning of death and its irrevocable place in life.
Guianan Cock-of-the-rock.II 2012
"Samuel's working protocol invariably results in an ever-present invitation into an inner world of unabashed integrity, emotion and oftentimes dark passion.
Her various bodies of work are akin to biometric scanning devices that use visual forensic fingerprints, or the iris of the human eye with its complex of lines and patterns surrounding it to isolate one from another.
Some may call that, “Signature” and “style.”
Others identify it as “theory” or “conclusion.”
Samuel uses the inner world — almost always her own — to tell a story."
- Steven A Heller / Black and White Magazine, USA
Red Knot.I 2012
Mourning Dove.I 2012
Himaylan Monal.II 2012
Osprey Eye.VII 2012
"We are accustomed to seeing representations of nature mediated through the hand of man in books and museums.
Yet, natural elements can stand alone as art.
The intimate photographs in The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds: Designs, Patterns and Details offer eloquent examples from the avian world.
The photographer Deborah Samuel states that the images in this book are a meditation on what it means to be alive and also serves as “portraits” of abstract ideas.
The images were photographed from specimens in the Royal Ontario Museum’s ornithology collection and include details of feathers, eggs, and nests."
Jackie M / THE Magazine, USA
Cedar Waxwing.I 2012
King of Holland Bird-of-paradise.II/Wilson Bird-of-paradise.III 2012
“Scientists can derive knowledge which is then shared with the museum’s visitors.
Artists can achieve something else – they can, in a sense, bring a specimen back to life.
Through their vision, the wonder and beauty of a bird that may have been dead for 150 years, is revived.”
- Mark Peck / Royal Ontario Museum, Canada
American Robin Egg.VII/American Robin Nest.II 2012
“Admiring these images gave rise to a new thought.
When we try to create music, weave words, or capture visions with paint or lens, we are trying to make something as beautiful as nature.
Deborah’s eye takes mine to the splendor of a feather, an egg, an intricately woven nest.
We may have seen these objects before, but we have not seen them with this level of insight.”
- Neil Peart / RUSH
Courtesy of The Royal Ontario Museum
Copyright © 2019 Deborah Samuel. All rights reserved.