Bird things at Qld Modern Art Gallery

To: David Stowe <>
Subject: Bird things at Qld Modern Art Gallery
From: Paul Jacobson <>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 23:57:17 +1100
If you're interested in bird-centric contemporary Australian indigenous art I'd recommend taking a look at the archived catalogue of a recent exhibition shown at Alcaston Gallery called "Jirrika tuwurrapirri yinyingpeningi? What Bird is That?"

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the thumbnail images don't really do justice unfortunately...


On 12/02/2007, at 9:20 PM, David Stowe wrote:

Hi Philip
Doesn't "aboriginal" (note lower case as you used) refer to native indigenous peoples in general, and not necessarily Australian?
Obviously i don't know how it was written/described at the gallery.
The nests sound like a great concept.
Dave Stowe

On 12/02/2007, at 7:30 PM, Philip Veerman wrote:

I was in Brisbane last week and visited the Qld Modern Art Gallery. Some bird things were so strange I thought worthy of telling the story. Even though they are quite peripheral to the list usual message.

One item was a large display cabinet of many nests of birds, all labelled by the scientific name of the bird, however all of the nests have been made out of shredded USA $ notes (all green). The nests are man-made of course. Amazingly, they all look realistic for the species as labelled, at least at a quick view (I had to leave soon to catch the train and plane back to Canberra).

The other thing is pots painted in supposedly aboriginal totemic designs, showing birds and other animals. Most designs are more or less believable, however one pot, labelled as "Eagles" shows several painted American Bald Eagles and another labelled "Owls" shows an owl that I believe to be an Eagle Owl or most certainly one of that genus (Bubo) and certainly not anything found in Australia. I know aboriginal people have suffered displacement and all that sort of thing but I really wonder how in tune are these people with their environment and local fauna. Why do they show totemic images of northern hemisphere fauna?

Even more obscure was a video showing a rooster and hen eating rice, complete with two Asian voices counting each grain as they ate them (total about 900). I'm not fibbing, that was the display.


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