‘I was a bird in a cage, and you gave me the sky.’
This line from the scriptures took me on a journey to create this series. It's a story about a bird and her relationship with the cage of her mind.  These artworks are oil pastels on paper, heat mounted on wood and hand-cut with a jigsaw to create a jagged frame. A wood frame is mounted on the back, coming out of the wall to give a 3-dimensional effect.


I was a bird in a cage and you gave me the sky

Karma, a song bird was captured in a faraway country in the foothills of India. She lived in a golden cage. Everyday she gazed out of the window at the sky. The sky was big
and open. Sometimes it was blue and on other days it was the grey space in her heart. She had been in thecage for so long she had forgotten she had ever been free, or that she once used to fly.

On those days she would tuck her face in her soft feathers and bury her head.

Karma had everything a bird could want:  The finest birdseeds were shipped from faraway hilltops and served to her in a filigree basket, mirrors and crystal ornaments hung from her cage to entertain her, even her perch was hand carved from the finest rosewood, but still it felt as if dark rain
clouds were hanging over her cage.

 She spent the days eating and the nights sleeping. All that once use to gratify her no longer made her happy. At night moonlight shone through the window onto her golden cage.

One night Karma had a dream. In the dream she was flying in a radiant sky. She was met by a beautiful Star who’s peaceful rays sparkled and light shone on her. In the Stars presence her worries and fears disappeared. Joyfully she spread her wings and soared, floating and gliding freely.

When Karma woke up from her wonderful dream it was early in the morning. She saw she was
still in her cage but the feeling of flying and the Star stayed inside her.

Everyday Karma held the experience of the beautiful Star in her minds eye. She climbed onto  the top of her cage and look into the sky and imagined the Sparkling Star and would say to herself,

“One day I will fly to you.” She began to sing and talk to the Star and tell it all the secrets of her heart. Thinking about The Star would make her feel light and happy.

She often imagined flying free with the other birds over green and peaceful hills.She could almost feel herself soaring through the crystal clear blue skies and could even smell the pure sweet air.

Karma often got up before the dawn.  At this time of the day her heart was clear and beautiful songs would come to her.

 Star of light

 You sparkle so bright.

 Gliding so high,

 I leave my worries behind.

One day Karma was remembering the wonderful lifting feeling she had in her flying dream and suddenly felt determined. She bravely hopped out of her cage took a deep breath and flew out of  the open window, but because she had grown comfortable in her cage she felt afraid without it,
quickly she flew back to the window and grabbed hold of the wire cage with her feet and
pulled the cage as hard as she could through the window. Karma was free but the cage was stuck in the window. “Let go and you’ll be free to fly,” a voice spoke, but Karma could not let go.

 Time past. When one day Karma felt lighter. The blue sky seemed brighter than usual as she imaged herself flying free. “I am a free and flying bird she said. Her thoughts were  so clear she could even feel the wind in her feathers. Suddenly it seemed as if the Shinning Star showered her mind with light.
The blissful feeling gave her courage.  “I am a free and flying bird.” She broke through her cage and flew out of the window.

 Karma knew she had one more thing to do. She flies back to the window and pulls it open as wide as she can with her beak. She climbs through the window and clutches the golden cage between her feet and pulls it through the window, carrying the heavy cage she drops it into the depths of the deep ocean the cage disappears and is never seen again. Karma is a free bird.  Higher and higher she flies past the sun, stars and moon soaring freer then she ever imagined.

 Like in her dream the beautiful sparkling Star appears in front of
her showering her with bright white light. This time the Star gives her a vision. In her mind
Karma sees the green foothills of India. She sees her bird friends flying happily and
singing while they build their new home in a beautiful tree. Karma is over joyed and flies
happily towards her new destination.

So remember, next time your feelings are weighed down by the cage of your sad thoughts, imagine the Star of light,and say to yourself,

 “I am free, ”then let go and fly.