208 x forgiveness?

large mixed media and watercolour drawing showing a femail and male caranabys cockatoo on a dark blue background. There are green Banksia leaves at the front of the picture plane
208 x forgiveness? 2023 mail art project inimitables
Artwork, image and photography © Perdita Phillips the nonhuman
208 postcards 10 x 15 cm (assembled 130 x 240 cm) $3300
mail art project; mixed media on paper
Exhibition: BIRD 2023 CLIMARTE Gallery, Naarm (Melbourne)
Sometime between the 6th and 8th of January 2010, 145 Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos died at the golf course in south-west coastal town of Hopetoun, with a further 63 dying around the same time at a roost site in Munglinup, 75 km to the east. Post mortem results eliminated poisoning or disease, with the most likely cause of death being daytime temperatures reaching in the high forties to low fifties, accompanied by hot northerly winds of over 60km/hr. Galahs, Regent Parrots, Australian Magpie Larks, Australian Ravens, Yellow-throated Miners and an Australian Kestrel were also found dead. Corpses were photographed piled on the ground. Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos are endangered and are only found in the southwest of Western Australia. Whilst the greatest continuing threat to the endangered population is clearing and fragmentation of habitat, small stochastic events such as extreme heat conditions, hailstorms and disease outbreaks can have high impact on birds that feed and roost together. Does it matter that 208 birds are subtracted from the estimated world population of 10,000-60,000? Small acts can have big local impacts. Over time, increased frequency of climate-related events adds up to long-term shifts. Local populations are divided and genetically isolated. Specimens are dissected and fragmented. Land is cut and disassembled. What kind of apology can we offer? What will move us to action—to put the parts back together again? This work was exhibited in BIRD at CLIMARTE Gallery, 20 Bridge Rd, Richmond, Naarm (Melbourne), 8 February – 11 March 2023
This exhibition draws inspiration from birds and the fascinating ways in which they are linked to our shared life on earth. Birds are the easiest wild animals to see and we look to them as representations of flight and freedom. They are tied to song and appear symbolically across human cultures. Birds are also bio-indicators and the literal ‘canaries in the coal mine’. We have evolved alongside them and our survival is tied to theirs. Research shows that even just hearing birds improves human mental health.
BIRD is a celebration of all birdlife, with artworks from Graham Badari, Alexis Beckett, The Bowerbird Collective, Beth Croce, Kate Gorringe-Smith, Heather Hesterman, Eugenia Lim, Lucille Martin, Fono McCarthy, Rachel Mounsey, Perdita Phillips, David Stewart, Mervyn Street, Dominic White, and the Artists of the Wall of Wings.
Many hand-drawn postcards assembled on a white wall. There are many blanks of postcards not yet delivered to the gallery