From the Rivers to the Shore and the accompanying exhibition, The Flyway Print Exchange, are art projects that explore the connectivity of place through migratory birds. The shorebirds that nest on the South Island’s braided river beds and seek our northern warmer waters over winter, and those others that move annually from New Zealand estuaries to breed in the distant reaches of Alaska, reflect our own migratory traditions.
From the Rivers to the Shore is curated by Devonport printmaker Celia Walker, with over 40 artists from the far north to the deep south invited to produce specific responses to their local environments, particularly highlighting the birds that move between the North and South Islands every year.
The shell banks and tidal reaches of Shoal and Ngataringa Bay host a wealth of bird species that change with the seasons, with many southern visitors over winter, including the South Island pied oystercatcher, pied stilt, and black-billed gull. Flocks of the endemic wrybill, with its curious sideways kink to its bill, have been observed at Little Shoal Bay, within a stone’s throw of the Harbour Bridge, long way geographically and metaphorically from their nesting grounds in Canterbury high country. All of these birds face multiple threats in both their breeding grounds and overwintering locations, it is hoped that this exhibition will increase awareness and highlight local opportunities to help keep these birds safe.
The Flyway Print Exchange is an international project that saw 20 printmakers from across the East-Asian Australasian Flyway for migratory birds produce an edition of prints to raise funds for shorebird research. A print by each artist was posted unpackaged along the migration routes of the birds, from Australia and New Zealand to Alaska and back, and are exhibited showing all the stamps and marks of their journeys.
The artists involved in these two projects range from Aboriginal printmakers from remote communities, to urban city dwellers of Melbourne and Auckland, local Devonport artists, and others from more distant parts of New Zealand. This is a chance to bring these works together to show our different responses to the surrounding environment, reflecting on why these birds make these places home.
Many thanks to Creative Communities Scheme for funding this exhibition.
Saturday 29 July – Wednesday 16 August
Opening Saturday 29 July, 2 – 3:30pm
There are also two special events to compliment this exhibition:
New Ways with Lino – Printing Demonstration (Sun 6 August 2017, 1:00pm – 2:30pm)
As part of From the Rivers to the Shore, printmaker Toni Hartill with demonstrates linocut printmaking, using a Dremel power tool. RSVP here.
From the Rivers to the Shore – Shorebird Presentation (Sun 13 August 2017, 2:00pm – 3:00pm)
Philip Moll, local shorebird expert, will give an illustrated talk about the shorebirds and ecological features of Shoal Bay/Ngataringa Bay. RSVP here.