Birds: Flight paths in Australian Art

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

2 December 2016 - 12 February 2017

Green Owl 2009 (pictured) and Falcon with Chinchillas 2007 by Kate Rohde were included in this exhibition


Over 70 works by 50 Australian artists are 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, explores 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 are juxtaposed alongside these contemporary works.