Birds: Flight paths in Australian Art

bird2 December 2016 to 12 February 2017 – A Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery exhibition

Over 70 works by 50 contemporary and modern Australian artists will be brought together for this exhibition on the bird.

Encompassing works from painting to sculpture, decorative arts, photography, print-making and installation, this exhibition, two years in the making, will explore the science, symbolism, beauty and curiosity of birds.

Artists including Albert Tucker, Rover Thomas, Ginger Riley and contemporary artists such as Brook Andrew, Fiona Hall, John Wolseley, Ben Quilty, Christian Thompson, Kate Rohde, Petrina Hicks, Trent Parke and Louise Weaver consider birds as objects of desire, in relation to fashion, history, identity, the environment and as emblems of empire and nationhood.   

In a country proud of its unique birds – our kookaburras, emus, galahs and cockatoos – contemporary artists are now considering the threats to our fragile ecology. Fiona Hall’s night parrot is dressed in camouflage gear to protect it from extinction, Penny Byrne’s ceramic parrots are kept under glass with contemporary detritus and Louise Weaver uses crochet and stitching to camouflage and transform a galah within a classic taxidermy pose.

Iconic works by colonial artists John Lewin and Richard Browne and early 20th century artists Sydney Long and Hans Heysen will be juxtaposed alongside these contemporary works.

Birds: Flight Paths in Australian art will include a specially commissioned interactive work by Juan Ford where visitors will be invited to create a bird filled landscape using thousands of bird stickers provided by Ford.    

Melbourne artist Kenny Pittock has created an off-beat colouring-in book focusing on birds found on the Mornington Peninsula, famously home to an abundance of indigenous birds, wanderers and migratory birds.

Pittock was an artist in resident at the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Police Point Artist in Residence cottage during October, researching for this special project.

Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am-5pm.

Exhibition admission fees: $4 adults / $2 concession.

General information: 03 5975 4395. 

Author: Anne-Marie Tunks

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