Sonja M. Blackham

Artist Statement

“A nest is a place of refuge to hold an animal’s eggs and/or provide a place to live or raise offspring. They are usually made of some organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves; or may simply be a depression in the ground, or a hole in a tree, rock or building. Human-made materials, such as string, plastic, cloth, hair or paper, may be used. Generally each species has a distinctive style of nest. Nests can be found in many different habitats. They are built primarily by birds, but also by mammals, fish, insects and reptiles. The urge to prepare an area for the building of a nest is referred to as the nesting instinct and may
occur in both mammals and birds.”

Helper, UT became a place of refuge for me from 2009-2012. It was safe, slow, and comfortable. There are people who care for us and that we care for that live and create right in this small town. We were able to let our guard down, slow down, and heal some deep wounds. My time in Helper was the first time I truly began nesting. We got pregnant. We had two beautiful babies right in our beautifully nested home on the hill overlooking the town that we love so dearly. In 2010, right before our first child was born, I made a hanging
mobile for the nursery out of textiles, sticks, and a large branch found on one of my daily trail walks. This started my curiosity of mixing found items with textiles. I started making nests in 2011. It felt natural and perfect for my state of mind as a new mother. I have fond feelings and memories of my time in Helper, UT. It was like my own personal nest that offered protection and a place to grown and create.