Drawing upon the traditions of natural history illustration, painting and tapestry, this work represents threatened birds of the Illawarra, NSW.
A vintage linen fabric, Cluny, featuring birds scattered across a light background, is overpainted with birds of the Illawarra.
Inspired by this richly coloured imagery, the real birds – species that may well become the content of fiction or myth – weave alongside idealised animals, while a disfigured character taken from poet and novelist Wilhelm Hauff’s (1826) fairy tale Dwarf Nose further embellishes its fantastic content. Pictorial references to this character imbue the narrative with a moral element, where long noses have often been associated with betrayal, lies and punishment. In this context, current humanity is playfully pictured as complicit yet concerned by the disruptive energy and entropy of progress.
Here, forces of development, land clearing and loss of habitat are evoked through the cross-sections of timber and spiral configurations of draining systems.