The King of Birds
The UK’s best-loved artist – Kerry Darlington is a master of many genres: Storytelling, Nature’s Faeries and Deluxe Abstracts amongst many others. Amongst these prized collections has evolved a distinctive subgenre that occupies a special place in the hearts of Kerry aficionados worldwide…
From her famous Peacock Splendour and Peacock Feathers editions; the ‘King of Birds’ has been a suitably stately, elegant and gorgeous subject for an artist so receptive to nature, colour and cultural significance. Now, Wyecliffe is proud to reveal Twilight Symphony – Kerry Darlington’s Unique Edition where the Peacock takes centre stage!
The Artist's Muse
This spectacular creature is a natural choice for Kerry Darlington, embodying many of the qualities that have informed her work from the very beginning. In Peacock Splendourand Into the Pensieve (from Kerry's Portraits collection) the iridescent colours of a Peacock’s feathers became a brilliant subject to replicate via Kerry’s resin and metal-leaf technique. The bird’s famous crest and ‘eyespots’ were irresistible features to render as 3D elements and its strutting, kingly charisma was instantly charming.
These qualities reached their zenith in Kerry’s astonishing Wyecliffe exclusive The Guardians Original and Boutique Edition. Here the Peacock’s train is embellished with dazzling metal leaf in an astonishing range of colours; while the beautiful Peahen is rendered in acrylic gesso to achieve the opulent white translucence.
An Aristocratic Lineage
The symmetrical, opulent motif of the peacock in full display had influenced visual iconography from Indian temples to art-deco. Its feathers have been used in ornamentation and dress and the creature’s very name has entered the lexicon as a verb for showy opulence. Perhaps because of this, the bird itself has been a status symbol in many cultures: the time-honoured phrase ‘peacocks on the lawn’ has become verbal shorthand for the Medieval castle or Georgian stately home – a signifier of luxury, power and lordly privilege.
Kerry Darlington has appropriated this rich cultural history in ways both decorative and symbolic. In her famous Bird of Hera. The peacock is traditionally sacred to the Greek Queen of the Gods and here she uses this significance to utterly beguiling effect. Justifiably one of Kerry Darlington’s most spectacular and sought-after works of all time.
The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing
- Lewis Carroll
There is only one other bird that can match the peacock for sheer swaggering flamboyance… Literally flocking to the party destinations of Florida, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean: the hot-pink plumage and long-legged elegance of the flamingo has become synonymous with sunny good-times and exotic destinations. Add the bird’s surreal and chaotic appearance in Alice's Adventures in Wonderlandto the mix and this is a creature that fits effortlessly into Kerry Darlington’s bestiary of cultural icons…. And of course, it just looks fabulous too! Surprisingly, this is the first time a flamingo has appeared in a major Kerry Darlington edition – its sole prior appearance being a sketch in her Remarques series: that aforementioned Wonderland Croquet game. In this previous original, the bird doesn’t receive its famous pink colour-scheme; but Kerry does realise its permanently bemused facial expression perfectly!
Twilight Symphony -with these two brilliant birds featuring prominently for the first time ever - is Kerry Darlington’s most opulent, ostentatious, glitteringly elegant and fun-loving Unique Edition ever. Orders are open now.
Peacocks sweep the fairies' rooms;
They use their folded tails for brooms;
But fairy dust is brighter far
Than any mortal colours are;
And all about their tails it clings
In strange designs of rounds and rings;
And that is why they strut about
And proudly spread their feathers out.
- Rose Fyleman
Once these conditions are met: the works are painstakingly recorded in our state-of-the-art database system (including advanced location tracking) and extensively photographed by Lucy and the image processing team. With extensive ‘macro’ detail shots utilising the Canon EOS 5DS camera: these shots not only form the basis for internet and print promotions: but form a visual record of the work at ultra-high resolution.
Finally; the works that aren’t immediately selected for the gallery walls (or better still, immediately dispatched to a lucky collector) are archived in our temperature controlled ‘vault’. Stored upright, fully surrounded in custom high-impact expanded rubber: the securely stored paintings are routinely checked and rotated onto gallery displays to ensure they remain in mint condition.