Flight

What birds do, apparently with great ease, seems to be a common human aspiration. Flight has long been a theme in our belief systems and even today, acted out with the aid of mechanical contrivances, it continues to occupy a richly metaphorical realm. Elements of language reveal much: a heaven above, an uprising, a flight of fancy.

Sound too propagates through the air. (Actually, through anything other than a vacuum. For most of what we hear, however, air is the medium of choice.) Impinging on our sensory apparatus, sound creates electrochemical imbalances in our brain. We can and do interpret sound but we also encounter it directly, viscerally.

A sublime artistic encounter—transcending one’s own aesthetic horizon—is not a purely intellectual exercise. We also perceive it physiologically; it can be an overwhelming sensation. The experience is often described as uplifting.


Catalog statement for Flight, New Bedford Art Museum, April 1998.