Feathered Friends - A Celebration of Australian Birds
We are all very excited about our wonderful collaboration with four passionate and talented local artists - photographer Angela Robertson-Buchanan, fine art illustrator Lamice Ali, and graphic designers Camille and Chris of Eggpicnic - for the "Feathered Friends" exhibition, celebrating Australia's birds.
Combining 49 pieces of individual bird art, featuring Angela’s close up macro bird headshots, Eggpicnic’s uniquely graphic bold birds & Lamice’s delicate bird & feather drawings, carefully curated to inform about our wonderful Australian birdlife.
The exhibition runs from 17th- 23rd October at Platform72. Meet and greet Casper, the loveable Cockatoo in the gallery. We invite everyone to come join us for the Official Opening on the 19th, Wednesday, 6-8pm.
Palm Cockatoo by Angela Robertson-Buchanan
This event coincides with BirdLife Australia’s National Bird Week & the Great Aussie backyard count, which aim to get Australians more involved in bird conservation. 20% of sales will be donated to BirdLife Australia.
We asked our artists about their inspiration for their work, and how they feel about their participation to this meaningful, timely exhibition.
1. What birds have you represented for this exhibition?
Angela Robertson-Buchanan: Birds that have a conservation story and/or are endangered, from the parrots which are unique to Australia to everyone's favourite local birds the Kookaburra & Magpie. All linked by habitat conservation/destruction.
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Red-tailed Black cockatoo, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Palm cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Princess Parrot, Magpie, Kookaburra, Regent Honey-eater, Southern Cassowary
Magpie by Angela
Lamice Ali: For this exhibition, I have put together a flock representing all that is weird and wonderful about our bird life. There's a small jewel of a Fairy Wren, a gregarious Gala, and a royal Raven. There's the sophisticated New Holland Honey-eater representing the common little birds we see day to day, and a cheeky and incredibly rare Orange-bellied Parrot that many of us may sadly never see in the wild (but as long as we know they're somewhere out there, we're happy!).
Eggpicnic: Throughout this exhibition we have represented some of Australia’s threatened, endangered and common birds. Ranging from cockatoos to honeyeaters, shorebirds to forest dwellers, we intend to highlight their features, plights and uniqueness.
2. Why did you choose these birds?
Angela Robertson-Buchanan: They all have a conservation issue and/or are endangered.
Lamice Ali: All these birds speak to me in one way or another. I love them all for their differences in size, colour, habitat and abundance. I even have a love for the Red-Whiskered Bulbul, though I do wish he had stayed home where he belongs! I hope that by looking at these birds (some of which are very common and therefore almost overlooked as part of the background scenery), we can all take a moment to pause and appreciate them just as they are.
Scarlet Honey Eater by Lamice Ali
Australian Raven by Lamice Ali
Eggpicnic: We chose these birds to bring attention to the importance of protecting our fellow species. Issues such as habitat destruction in rural and urban environments can only be solved through understanding the importance of these animals as part of our ecosystem and by understanding our place on this planet. These birds are under great pressure from shortsighted decisions and we often underestimate the power of our own voices.
3. What issues matter most to you for the conservation of birds?
Angela Robertson-Buchanan: We need to stop destroying their habitat; I also feel most Australians don’t realize how unique the birdlife is here and how lucky they are.
Lamice Ali: Ultimately all issues whether significant or otherwise, add to the stressors that all wildlife faces day to day. When thinking specifically of Australian species and their conservation, it's important to remember that all creatures, habitats, and natural processes are connected in complex webs, and that if we're to conserve our birds, or any flora or fauna species, we need to focus on ensuring that our natural environments are maintained as much as possible. Sadly, in the face of ever increasing need for larger cities, more agricultural land and resource exploration and mining, things like trees and birds and insects tend to fall to the sidelines.
Eggpicnic: The alarming rate at which we’re destroying vital habitat in Australia and all around the world due to human impact. We need to understand that issues such as climate change are real and are modifying the environment and that the human impact on biodiversity is an attack on ourselves. These topics need to be addressed from many different fields simultaneously; it is a network of humans that need to come together in order to provide solutions for a sustainable future. We need to start from the very basic, such as ditching our super or bank if they still invest in fossil fuels, as a first step. In the words of Jane Goodall “How is it possible that the most intellectual creature to ever walk planet Earth is destroying its only home?"
Bird artwork by Eggpicnic
Wetland birds by Eggpicnic
4. Do you have any interesting facts about birds that you think people need to know?
Angela Robertson-Buchanan: Cockatoos can live to 100 and are extremely intelligent, more so than a dog.
The Orange Bellied Parrot is the most endangered Parrot in the world.
Australia is one of a few countries that have the greatest diversity of parrot species.
Lamice Ali: I think we all know that birds might be our closest link to the dinosaurs, but there's one bird out there that visually demonstrates this for me, and that's the hoatzin bird. Well, specifically, hoatzin chicks! They're born with two claws on each wing, which they use to climb tree branches. These fade when the birds get older, but think of how cool it'd be if the large parent hoatzin had epic wing claws!
(The chicken scoffs at the hoatzin though, since there's claims that it's the closest living relative to the T Rex!).
Eggpicnic: That they feel, love, grieve and play just like we do. It has been incredibly fascinating observing bird behavior out in the field. Everything about them is intriguing; from the fact cockatoos can carry emotional baggage to migratory birds being able to read the Earth’s magnetic field.
Galah by Lamice Ali
5. What's your favourite bird?
Angela Robertson-Buchanan: Yellow-tailed black Cockatoo, to be honest I am obsessed with parrots, especially the cockatoos. Their intelligence astounds me!
Lamice Ali: It's most definitely the Corvids in general: ravens, crows, magpies...I adore them all. I do see myself as becoming an old pigeon lady though to be honest. I also love pigeons!
Camila: The Regent Honeyeater. The first critically endangered bird I encountered in the wild, it was a highly emotional moment that made me realise the proportions of all the work that needs to be done to turn things around.
Chris: The Powerful Owl. Vulnerable, majestic and the largest Owl in Australasia. Seeing them in the wild as they stare down on you with their huge eyes is a humbling experience.
Birds of Australia by Eggpicnic