The concept of metamorphosis–the changing of lifeforms into other lifeforms–is a universal concept that can be traced to almost every human civilization and its mythology and explanatory stories. From ancient Rome we read Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and from contemporary Europe a descendant, Kafka’s Metamorphosis. In cultures with shamanic practices and mythological underpinnings metamorphic transformation is referred to as shape-shifting. From various Native American to Irish Celtic cultures and beyond, shape-shifting elements abound in literature, oral practice and art.
In my Metamorphosis, raven is transformed into human form in three stages. On a visit to Greece last year I was fascinated by the archaeological reconstruction of fractured and fragmented ancient Greek sculpture utilizing connected metal rods. This method of exhibition was the inspiration behind the segmented and reconstituted sections of the raven who is being transformed.
-Paraphrased from Hib Sabin