2006, Carbonised canary, 19th C miniature bible, blown glass globe, wooden base, 22 cm x 22 cm x 32 cm
Canaries are the birds taken down mines – a “saviour” bird. Birds are also seen as symbols of the spirit and the soul and of the link between heaven and earth. This canary was one of the birds that lived (and in this case died) in the artist’s studio when they filled it with birds from 2005-2006 and was originally sourced from a North East canary breeder and ex-miner.
The canary has been reduced to its pure state of carbon, with Martyr part of a series of works in which the artists have carbonised once living matter.