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Seeing people watch my new video artwork ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home’ @sydneycontemporary @olsen_gallery has been a dream realised. Making this work was a huge undertaking where quality was never compromised. It was filmed in 4k (4 times as many pixels as an HD TV) on the most advanced slow motion camera in the world and is displayed on the best 4k QLED (quantum dots to emit light) screen. A special thank you goes to John Fragiadakis and @samsungau - I contacted them to ask if they would help me with the technology and they have been incredibly generous in lending and installing the Frame TV. Sydney Contemporary is on today and tomorrow. This work is also part of my High Society exhibition in October in Sydney @olsen_gallery and November in New York @olsengruin
@sydneycontemporary has opened its doors. You can see my video art piece ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.’ Brilliant to show alongside such a great stable of artists @olsen_gallery
My upcoming exhibition 'High Society’ has challenged me to create what at first I thought might be impossible. It began when I noticed how a flock of native Australian budgerigars look like leaves on a tree. Looking closer I saw individuals, couples, and families – a secret High Society. I wanted to capture that society in a studio which lead me down a five year path of planning and hard work to capture what was in my imagination. Budgies were the subject of my first solo exhibition some nine years ago – this new work includes large format portraits but also for the first time flocks of birds in trees and a video art piece made by working with over 300 budgerigars in a studio. You can see sneak preview of my video art piece @sydneycontemporary 12-15 September. It is entitled ’Nature is not a place to visit. It is home’. A beautiful quote by author Gary Snyder. My exhibition dates are: Sydney @olsen_gallery High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-9pm New York @olsengruin High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-8pm
One of the best ways that we can all help wildlife is to throw our support and money towards organisations that take up the challenge on our behalf. One such organisation is the Wilderness Society. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Lots of wonderful people are coming together to raise dollars for @wilderness_aus this week. The fundraiser @artforthewilderness has herded 95 of Australia’s top artists and their artworks. I have donated my framed artwork Rex - the Baudin cockatoo - (Rex lives at a black cockatoo rescue centre @kaarakin in Western Australia another great organisation) and I could not be prouder to be part of this fundraising event. Every single cent paid will go to the fundraiser. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Here’s what you need to know >>>>>> Viewing opens this Friday at the Queen Street Galleries, Level 1, 40 Queen St, Woollahra, Sydney. The silent auction closes Sunday 1st September at 5pm. Drinks and live auction starts at 5pm on Sunday at the Queen Street Galleries. Link in my bio to review all the works and how to bid. Good luck!
Last year Elke Sada - a German ceramicist - kindly enquired if she could reference my portrait of Queenie the Galah (and other works) for her work. Look at the incredible vessel she has created. She is a finalist in the prestigious Loewe Foundation Craft Prize: 29 works selected out of 2500 submissions exhibited in Isamu Noguchi’s stone garden in Tokyo. She is not on instagram (yet) but you can find her work on elkesada.de
People have asked how I ended up in the Arctic. It was all thanks to this man @huwlewisjones polar expedition leader, historian, published author (his books have been translated into 19 languages) and a true story teller with a keen sense of humour and a sharp wit. If you follow him you can see just how extraordinary a life he leads and if you have ever dreamt of going on an expedition Huw can take you. Oh and we took this selfie while standing on a floating iceberg @poseidonexpeditions
Zebra finch, a little bird with a lot to say. Their calls can be a loud ‘beep’, ‘meep’, ‘oi!’ or an ‘a-ha’. A tiny (10cm or 4”) and a beautiful Australasian bird!
To help raise funds for the Royal Botanic Gardens, this framed artwork ‘Scratch’ Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is part of their Wild Things exhibition. If you are in Sydney, you can meet him at Lion Gate Lodge 4 - 18th August 10am - 4pm @rbgsydney @foundationandfriends @olsen_gallery
Heading towards the Arctic we landed at Fair Isle, a tiny island in Shetland, Northern Scotland. It’s covered in moss, wildflowers and Puffins! A bird that warms the cockles of every heart. Puffins build deep burrows on sheer cliffs to nest. They were happy to have me around... I’m told the predatory seabirds Skuas (Puffins arch nemesis) stay away when people are about. * After leaving the island I was interviewed by wildlife photographer and educator @ricksammonphotography for his podcast picturingsuccess.com which is now live. @huwlewisjones @poseidonexpeditions
A few minutes in that Arctic water and you’re dead which is the reason for the rope and doctor on standby. Water temperature 1°C (33°F) #polarplunge. 🥶 @poseidonexpeditions @huwlewisjones 📷 @johnbozinov
My Arctic expedition has given me a better sense of the lives of seabirds, living in the cold extremes of our world. I love these birds. This is ‘Chicken’ Australasian Gannet a wild bird in care. Photographed at @twinnies_seabirdrescue
I exhibit my bird portraits ‘human size’ to challenge the way we see other creatures. So travelling to the Arctic after two weeks at sea, it was clear that wilderness does scale like no other and this time it was challenging me. It’s a bewildering experience to be a speck amongst so much beauty @poseidonexpeditions @huwlewisjones
This is me in the Arctic Circle. Even as I write those words I still find it hard to believe. An incredible journey of a lifetime with exceptional human, Expedition leader @huwlewisjones @poseidonexpeditions
This is a different photograph of Riley who I posted on instagram a few weeks ago. (It is Riley No.1). I met him at the @ojairaptorcenter and two of his portraits are part of my Wounded Warrior Series (2015). He is an Eastern screech owl. Taking his photograph was very difficult as although gorgeous with little pointed ear tufts, he was tiny and trying to focus on individual parts of him was like looking into a fog as he has the most confusing feather pattern. There are bands and spots and mottled marks and feathers go straight while others ripple. It made it hard to focus. So I focussed on his beautiful eyes. The Eastern screech owl can be found most commonly on the eastern side of North America. They prefer wooded habitats although they don’t seem to be bothered by the type of tree. True to their name (eastern, screechy) they are most easily recognised by their characteristic whinnying or trilling call, which is described as a haunting screech. They are also known to make other other noises such as rasps, hoots and barks. Similar to most owls, the eastern screech owl is most active at night, which is why they are usually heard, not seen. Riley was lovingly cared for by the Ojai Raptor Center after being hit by a car. He was a bit blind in his right eye and a bit deaf but he was comfortable with people and was an ambassador for the center until his recent death from natural causes. He will be missed.
Hello all - I am pleased to finally announce dates for my next exhibition - High Society. It is the first exhibition in my home town of Sydney in five years so I am very excited. Sydney @olsen_gallery High Society | 16 October – 10 November, 2019 Opening Reception, Thursday 17 October, 6-9pm New York @olsengruin High Society | 13 November - January 6, 2020 Opening Reception, Friday 15 November, 6-8pm The concept for High Society occurred to me when I noticed how a flock of native Australian Budgerigars resembled leaves when perched in a tree. I looked closer: I saw individuals, couples, and families - a secret High Society. From whole flocks of birds to those who live within it. I hope this series inspires you to ask questions about the constructs of society: the relationship of the group through to its individuals. Here is one of my new portraits, a couple ‘Rain and June’. Thank you to Ravenswood Art Prize @rawartprize for their award of Highly Commended last Friday. It is a huge compliment given over 1200 entries. ************************************************ I will send an email update and preview of art closer to the exhibition dates. Please email email@example.com or use my website to be added to this list. Thank you.
In my last post I spoke about Bob the American Kestrel cared for by the @ojairaptorcenter and how he and Kira had raised more than 30 orphan Kestrels. This is beautiful Kira.
Bob is a rescued American Kestrel who was not raised by an experienced rehabilitator. It's often well intentioned but if wildlife are not cared for properly the birds can become ‘imprinted’- a social disorder where a bird no longer recognises its own species and loses the ability to hunt. Fortunately Bob was taken to @ojairaptorcenter in California who are professionals and there he met Kira (another permanent care Kestrel). Bob and Kira have now bonded for life, and although they cannot be freed, they are champion surrogate parents. Bob and Kira have raised more than thirty young kestrel orphans who have been released back into the wild. So next father’s day, don’t forget to toast incredible dads like Bob the Kestrel. Bob is part of my ‘Wounded Warrior’ Series on injured and rescued American birds of prey. Available as a limited edition artwork.
I am sure like most of us, I have a preconceived idea of the size of a bird before I meet them. But when I travelled to @ojairaptorcenter in the United States I couldn’t believe just how small owls can be. One such tiny little man was Riley the Eastern screech owl who I photographed for my Wounded Warrior series. He was beyond cute. It saddens me to write this but Riley recently died peacefully, having lived a very special life with a Western screech owl named Lucy. Have a look at the @ojairaptorcenter post - you can not only read about their remarkable story but you can scroll through the photos to truly see what I mean by small for an owl. This centre is one incredible place that does such good for their local wildlife. Farewell lovely Riley. (Riley No.2)
This is ‘Drifter' - a Broad-winged hawk from the US of A. I photographed him at the brilliant @ojairaptorcenter - an organisation that picks up and rehabilitates injured birds of prey for release. He and his friends appeared in ‘Bird Love’ (the US edition of my book). The chapter was called ‘Wounded Warriors’ and this series has never been exhibited, so I thought I might post more of them here. Drifter was found in Santa Barbara with a coracoid fracture (up near the shoulder / wings). It was his first migration and he was lucky to have been taken to the @ojairaptorcenter for care and release. These majestic hawks are found across North America and are long distance migration birds. They can be seen as far south as South America in the winter months. They form flocks of 1000 - known as kettles. But on this day he was on his own. An absolute beauty.