Margit van der Zwan

Music in art

Music in art: musical themes in art are an integral response to my life as a musician. There’s no doubt that my musical experiences, from busking in Covent Garden to touring with bands like Elbow and Snow Patrol, to orchestral work and solo recitals, have inspired the music themes in my drawings.

quill drawing hand ink feather art

Quill drawings make for some wonderfully scratchy, lively, impulsive effects! I don’t sharpen my feathers, instead preferring a blotchy, spacious result, allowing feather and ink to take charge.

Story of a feather

I have a collection of many special feathers. The one in this picture belonged to an oriental pheasant at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I worked at YSP during an Andy Goldsworthy exhibition. I was invigilating a large, fragile work made with leaves. It was a hot sunny day and all the windows and doors had been opened. On this day Billy the pheasant, a regular on the YSP grounds, saw his opportunity to wander into the gallery. A priceless artwork and a fluttering pheasant are a dangerous match! One of my colleagues crept up behind Billy and managed to grab him, but Billy flapped his wings and escaped through the French doors, leaving a handful of tail feathers behind. Through one of his feathers the spirit of Billy lives on.