Amelia’s Magazine | Exhibition Review: Ghosts of Gone Birds

Margaret Atwood by Faye West
Margaret Atwood by Faye West.

Ghosts of Gone Birds. Have you been yet? This fabulous exhibition can be seen at the Rochelle School, Shoreditch up until the 23rd November. From there it goes on tour, so with any luck you will be able to catch it soon at a venue near you.

Gone Birds -albatross
Ghosts of Gone Birds is the brainwave of film maker Ceri Levy, who chanced upon the idea whilst making a documentary called The Bird Effect, which examines the effect of avian life on human life.

margaret-atwood-by marta-spendowska
Margaret Atwood by Marta Spendowska.

At the start of November I attended a special introduction to the exhibition given by the renowned writer Margaret Atwood, who just so happens be a massive fan of birds. She had just returned from a conservation trip to Madagascar, and on her way home she was enchanted to discover that the man at customs was a fan of vultures, of all things… it seems you just have to start the conversation and you will discover a fan of birds.

Gone Birds t-shirt design by Daria Hlazatova
Gone Birds t-shirt design by Daria Hlazatova.

Her contribution to Ghosts of Gone Birds is a knitted Great Auk, which was made at a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group in Canada using local wool. It’s eye is formed from a local Inuit bead and the Auk is a resident of the Canadian Arctic… so the use of materials and subject work in perfect unity.

Margaret Atwood emphasised the importance of the exhibition as a means to spread the message about the plight of birds beyond the usual enthusiasts. In the unfolding biodiversity disaster that we humans are currently inflicting on the planet birds have become one of the biggest sufferers. According to figures released by BirdLife International birds are now going extinct at a thousand times the natural background rate: that’s a pretty major disaster.

There are loads of great artworks in the exhibition, too many to show, so here are just a few of my favourites:

Angie Lewin - Double-Banded Argus
Double Banded Argus by Angie Lewin.

Ben Newman - Bishop's 'O'O
Bishop’s O by Ben Newman.

Reunion Owl by Billy Childish
Reunion Owl by Billy Childish.

Gone Birds -Red Moustached Fruit Dove by Emily Sutton
Red Moustached Fruit Dove by Emily Sutton.

Jack Teagle - Black Mamo
Black Mamo by Jack Teagle.

Gone Birds -The Unsung Soldier by David Taborn
Detail from The Unsung Soldier by David Taborn.

Gone Birds -The Sound of Extinction by Philip Hardaker
The Sound of Extinction by Philip Hardaker.

Gone Birds -Empty Nest by Jackie Hodgson
Detail from Empty Nest by Jackie Hodgson.

Gone Birds -St Helena Hoopooe by Felt Mistress
St Helena Hoopooe by Felt Mistress.

Le Gun - The Tragic Demise of the White Gallinule
The Tragic Demise of the White Gallinule by Le Gun.

Full listing information can be found here.

Categories ,Angie Lewin, ,Ben Newman, ,Billy Childish, ,BirdLife International, ,Ceri Levy, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Emily Sutton, ,Faye West, ,Felt Mistress, ,Ghosts of Gone Birds, ,Great Auk, ,Inuit, ,Jack Teagle, ,Jackie Hodgson, ,Le Gun, ,Margaret Artwood, ,Marta Spendowska, ,Philip Hardaker, ,review, ,Rochelle School, ,Stitch N Bitch

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