Bing Dawe and his sculptural birds fly at Ara

The work, by Art & Design tutor and prominent New Zealand artist Bing Dawe, makes a strong statement about the future of our local birdlife. While the birds surround the sculpture, seemingly in flight, they leave behind negative images in the body of the steel arch.

“The birds are of the Waimakariri River,” Dawe says. “They are common to our braided rivers. There are 10 birds in total representing six species. On the positive side, they are lovely to look at, in 3D cast bronze rendering. On the negative side, they leave holes behind, there’s a blank space.”

Dawe would like people to get to know our birds. “I would like people to take away an understanding of the birds, like a field guide, and be able to identify them. The birds are accurate but slightly up-scaled. The dark silhouettes against the sky is how you usually see them in nature.

“If people can look at the birds and get an understanding, they might then take a walk up the river sometime - if I could inspire that, then my job is done.”


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August 3, 2017