Departing colours: Eastern Curlew
Saturday 4 to Sunday 19 March
Opening Friday 3 March 6-8pm
Barbara Campbell has been working in the contact zone between humans and migratory shorebirds since 2011. Her exhibition for ArticulateUpstairs is timed to coincide with the seasonal departure of Numenius madagascariensis (Eastern Curlew) from the shorelines of Australasia towards their breeding grounds in north-east China and the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s far east.
Campbell’s 2015 watercolour series, Soft part colours, extracts and abstracts the colours of Eastern Curlew bills (one of the bird’s so-called “soft parts”), as described verbally by shorebird citizen-scientists working in the field. The series was first shown in the Macleay Museum, lying down horizontally in cabinets with study specimens of Eastern Curlew skins from the museum collection. For ArticulateUpstairs, the works are hung vertically in flocks of six. The Eastern Curlew species is feeling the effects of rapid anthropocentric development and in 2015 was listed as “critically endangered”.
Image: Barbara Campbell, Soft part colours: Eastern Curlew bill series, flock 4, 2015, watercolour on Canson paper on wood stretcher frame, each 30.5 x 10.2 x 3.8 cm. Photo: Barbara Campbell.