“I like to look at birds flying in the sky, and if by luck, one flies above my head, my eyes will follow all the way.” Swallows often dive, swoop and bump their way through, at a very high speed.” This bird cloth doll, which is modeled on swallow’s body shape, is attached to a thin cotton thread, and thus can be hung by the window, from the ceiling, or on a baby crib. Whenever there is a breeze, the chubby little bird will always swing, or at times rotate, in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.
Furze, who is frequently featured here as an illustrator, actually often makes cloth dolls as well. Most of them are either animals or human beings. At her studio, I have also seen before a potato doll with a pair of eyes, which she made with tea-dyed fabrics. Her dolls often carry a kind of “insensitiveness”, and look a bit stupid, and one will naturally be overcome with joy seeing them. Those which are modeled on real-life figures can always capture their essence vividly. However, this bird doll has no visible facial expressions whatsoever, being soft, pure and clean, seemingly without carrying anything extra nor lacking anything.
Out of curiosity, one may wonder about the creation process. It would seem it has been made with unwavering concentration from start to finish, during which the shape of the bird was drawn, traced and kneaded.
“A few years ago, there was a time when I loved to meditate. With my eyes closed and my spirit being freed from my body, I would find myself flying in the sky, and before my eyes were mountain ranges, rivers and forests that I had never seen before. Such landscape seemingly left over from the last generation kept passing me by. The scenery was so spectacular that I would often jerk awake before long. I no longer practice meditation in recent years, but this flying memory has stayed with me, sometimes even making appearances in my dream.”
Has the memory of the bird been implanted inside the brain, or more like, it has slid into one’s feelings. It is very difficult to come up with something pure by thinking with the brain. One should rather simply observe, as a child does, the bird inside one’s mind.
“ ‘Purity’ is what I want to achieve, gradually, in this process of creating dolls.”