Plumage in Peril

Pausha Foley is a Santa Barbara-based painter and multi-media artist who works in pen and ink. Self-taught, she has developed her intimate style through years of exploration into the various forms of nature—and of the underlying currents of meanings and relationships between those forms.  

Her illustrations for Zócalo combine tight and intricate line work with loose, expressive strokes of vibrant color. The art resists easy interpretation: Are the birds depicted being protected by kind hands? Or are they held captive? Is a finch being tagged by a researcher or preservationist? Is a flamingo being lifted to safety? Is a heron playing with its minder? Or is it grooming? 

These illustrations pull us in with their detail and mystery and challenge us to engage beyond our first reaction. What is the true story—without the scaffolding of our existing beliefs?


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