CHICO, CA — Chico artist Christian V. Davila’s latest solo Fab Lab art show soars to new heights with a little help from technology.
Davila’s new whimsical showcase in “Taking Over” opens Saturday with a reception from 3-6 p.m. at Idea Fab Labs, 603 Orange St.
The literary treat will feature sculpted blue jays, canaries and feathered creature hybrids made by a 3D printer and laser cutter.
“I really wanted to cover the main gallery space at the Fab Labs,” Davila said. “I’m hoping to have the walls and ceiling covered with birds.”
More than 75 birds will be cascading from the Idea Fab Labs gallery ceiling. Hence, “Taking Over.”
The bird bodies were designed on a computer and transposed by the 3D printer. Davila then draped the birds with book pages. The detail with each bird comes with her layering the delicate laser cut-out book pages to mimic fluffy or sleek feathers.
Each sculpture measures about six inches to 12 inches in height, with a similar size wingspan.
Before, Davila would sculpt the bird bodies with clay. She said it would take about a month to complete one. With the 3D printer, it added more prep time to the artist’s process, but the result left her flock more sturdy and finished in less time.
When it comes to the book pages, Davila said she used to select pages from murder/mystery novels and got a chuckle from viewers who would catch a scandalous word or phrase, but for this show, she toned it down and chose more uplifting titles that resonated with her as an artist.
“I didn’t want to scare people,” she said, “even though they probably can’t even read the words that well. I’ve had some people hunt down the books I’ve used (in the past) just from Googling a little patch of words and with the Harry Potter books, people have gotten upset, and that’s why I like to keep the books a secret.”
To further articulate her majestic exhibit, birdhouses and shadowboxes will be adorned with delicately painted paper flowers, birds and clocks.
Her childhood attachment to birds and being the young caretaker of a well-loved Teenie Beanie Blue Jay glided from an admiration for the freeing creatures to making a living sculpting them.