I caught a glimpse of Atlanta-based artist Thomas Turner as he was painting an enormous hummingbird on the wall of the Modera Prominence at the corner of Piedmont Road and Lenox Rd. He had a small photograph for reference, and he was using spray paint to add feather details to the head of the massive bird. I was blown away by the realistic feathers he was able to create with a can of spray paint.
Since then, Turner has completed the huge mural entitled “Naturally Charged”. The striking imagery makes it almost a pleasure to be stuck in traffic on Piedmont Rd. When you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to check out the storytelling and craftsmanship that went into this large-scale painting.
Here is the story behind the mural in the artist’s own words:
When I was approached with the prompt to create a mural inspired by technology I always knew I was going to somehow create a scene where nature was generating energy I just didn’t know what that looked like at the time.
Through many iterations and conversations with Matthew Whitaker of Canvas Art Consultants, the agency that headed all of the art installations at Modera Prominence, I eventually landed on the concept for “Naturally Charged”.
My mural features a story-driven scene depicting the moon as a power source. This idea comes from a play on the counterpart to solar energy, LUNAR ENERGY. At the beginning of the scene, we see a charging station installed on the moon. From there lunar energy is transferred via power cables that eventually morph into the roots of a tree. The tree flourishes from the energy of the moon and shares it with a giant daisy flower that grows from the opposite end of the tree’s root system. Finally, a larger-than-life hummingbird is revealed in the finale of the scene at the mural’s eastern end. The bird feeds from the flower taking in the nutrients and power ultimately originating from the moon. With the energy of the moon now flowing within, the bird has become a vessel to use, carry, and transfer the lunar power along its life’s journey.
The overall message behind the piece is a call for humanity to continue exploring alternative ways to enhance and protect the environment through mindful technology.