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Andrea Bird | In Memoriam

Andrea Bird In Memoriam
Photo by Andreea Muscurel

1961 – 2024

Andrea Bird was a member of Propeller from 2007–2010. Andrea was a mixed media encaustic artist and poet. From 2010-2018, Andrea Bird and her artist husband, Daniel Beirne, established The Hive Encaustic Studio at the Alton Mill in Caledon. From there they taught encaustic and creativity workshops and displayed encaustic paintings. They also launched Waxworks Encaustic Supplies to sell encaustic supplies online.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, at 51 years of age. Almost five years later, after having gone through all the recommended treatments, her cancer had come back, having spread to her lungs and her bones. In 2017, she received her terminal diagnosis.. Andrea and Dan left the Hive to focus on the time they had left together.

Andrea wrote this obituary:

Living with cancer for the past decade or so, I’ve learned about patience and presence. Being with what shows up, especially what we don’t want, is a fierce teacher. This ‘living with dying’ time has also been a teacher for my beloveds: Daniel (Beirne) who shows me daily what love is, our dear sons, Liam (Kylie) and Conor – show up and respond from their hearts, making my heart sing. Our grandchildren, Sloane and Sawyer, bless us with their bright, golden spirits. Being “Birdie” with “Grandad” was incredible! I loved every moment. Dan’s big, smiling family embraced me warmly from day one. My sister Stephanie (Glenn) walked beside me with love. My parents, the late Glenn and Sue Bird taught me to embrace life with all its challenges. It is hard to leave this world, yet I have been blessed with a creative and love-filled life. Making and teaching art (the hive at the Alton Mill) brought deep joy. Family and dear friends, I love you and always will. The love we share does not die with me. Thank you for walking alongside me (and us) with such courage and grace. I have been truly blessed in this life.

Last words from Mary Oliver, my fave poet…. “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

Andrea Bird | Video Artist Talks

Here are two videos of Andrea talking about the works she submitted to Propeller’s online encaustic exhibition LAYERS of MEANING.

Andrea Bird Artist Statement – Layers of Meaning 2021

These two paintings responded to a terminal cancer diagnosis. Painting allows me to find/make meaning, and from there, to heal what is untended within. Not curing, healing – delving into layers of resistance and finding a place of surrender, of ‘being with.’

‘This is Love’ incorporates a photo of my grandfathers, and explores what impending death brings, including the learning from two guided psilocybin mushroom experiences that helped me find my way.

‘Carry onward, like some songbird’ was made from a tabletop that’s been in my family for over 50 years – so many conversations. I danced on wax with charcoal feet to a song by Kevin Morby, Beautiful Strangers. The title came from the lyrics. It’s made to resemble a palette that would carry a body after death and is an exploration of this dying time during covid.

— Andrea Bird

Andrea’s Encaustic Exhibitions at Propeller

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