Step Gallery, Phoenix
February 17 – 26, 2022

“Fly, Bird. Fly! – Celebrating our Lives and Journeys” is an MFA thesis exhibition by Madoka Wada. Inspired by rosy-faced lovebirds, southwest Africa-native birds who found their new home in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Wada realizes an installation inviting visitors to play, reflect, and celebrate the lives and journeys of birds and people.

Visitors are encouraged to start their journey through the labyrinth. As they meander, they will pass by eleven birds. Each carries a red-white-blue bag commonly used as hand-carry luggage by immigrants for its durability and affordability. A swing chair made of red-white-blue bags awaits its new passenger in the middle of the labyrinth. By deciding to be on the swing chair, a visitor becomes the twelfth bird who can fly in the blue sky with their peers and is free from borders or captivation.

The exhibition offers opportunities for poetry-sharing and papercraft-making. The former asks visitors to leave their words-as-souvenirs while the latter provides a space to make new human and paper bird friends. Welcome to the party!