The myth of the bird of paradise stems from an old Sufi fable about the Huma bird. It is said that the bird is always in flight, never coming to rest, and is often believed to not even possess legs. Tales of the Huma bird can be traced throughout various cultures, and in all cases the bird is seen as a good omen, bringing wealth, prosperity, and good health. Stories go on to describe the bird as having both male and female attributes, while others link it directly to the myth of the phoenix. The meaning of course can shift depending on the culture, yet themes of eternal life and renewal tend to be the strongest.
As for the real birds of paradise, these beautiful animals are still alive in the world, although they are considered a threatened species due to hunting and deforestation.
Given the beauty of the birds, and the link to a myth about rebirth and transformation, it should be no wonder that this scarification piece by John Joyce looks fantastic.
The reasons the person chose to get this piece are their own, yet something can be said to the process of the cutting and the scar that will follow. In essence the person is becoming reborn with a new sense of being. The skin that was removed is gone forever, yet something new and beautiful will take its place. Like the phoenix, the person has undergone a rebirth, coming out on the other side a transformed person.
John himself is no stranger to creating brilliant pieces of art, as you can easily see in his own gallery on BME.