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"Paradise Found"

Creation Story - 2014

I was browsing in a local book store when I accidentally knocked a book off a shelf and it landed in an open position, face down on the floor.  I quickly picked up the book to return it to the shelf but the page it was open on caught my eye.  

It was a beautiful photograph of a bird of paradise, hanging upside down in a courtship display.  It's feathers formed the shape of a heart.  I knew in that moment that the subject of my next painting had to be a bird of paradise.


Whilst painting it, I synchronistically came across a story written in the twelfth century called "The Conference of the Birds".  It was written by a Sufi poet called Farid Attar.  It provided me with great personal insights at the time and it's message is hidden within the story of my painting.

Special symbols - bird of paradise, black halo, heart and jewels.


Where lay this hidden treasure chest,

With exuberant radiance of jewels undressed?

Is it swirling in the turquoise tide of deep,

By bottomless ocean fathoms reaped?

Or in shifting sand dunes buttressed,
By golden dancing grains compressed?


Where lay this hidden treasure chest,

With joyful iridescence of humming bird zest?

Is it cuddled by a whimsical cloud,

Drizzled in mist and powder blue shroud?

Or at the end of pastel archway crest,

Bound by a leaping rainbows quest?


Where lay this hidden treasure chest,

With infinite peace of the still between breath?

Is it swinging from a celestial star,

With shimmering midnight cloak afar?

Or buried in black earthy womb rest,

By honest fertile soil caressed?


Where lay this hidden treasure chest,

With a creative passion no boundary can test?

Is it within blazing sun too bright to see,

Locked away by solar key?

Or guarded in volcanic unrest,

Where rock the raging flames digest?


Beyond the tender veil of beating breast,

Is where lay this hidden treasure chest,

Graced within a divine temple golden,
By sacred alter of light beholden,

Where the human heart “marks the spot”,

A paradise once found, is never forgot.

by Deborah Perry

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