Issue 17
Monday, 26 September 2016
Charles Darwin University
Bonnet by Pennyriose Wiggins is one of the artworks to feature in the exhibition
Bonnet by Pennyriose Wiggins is one of the artworks to feature in the exhibition

Exhibition aflutter with feathery friends

By Leanne Miles

Bird and art lovers are in for a tweet when Charles Darwin University opens its next exhibition, which celebrates Australia’s unique birdlife.

“Our feathered friends… the art of birds” is much more than a collection of artworks. The exhibition at the CDU Art Gallery also will highlight the plight of the endangered Yellow chat, and enable visitors to watch how bower birds make their nests, and to follow the global shorebird migrations between the North and South Poles.

CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery curator Joanna Barrkman said the exhibition would include sculptures, works on paper, weavings, film, ceramics and paintings by artists from around the world including Indigenous artists from remote regions of the Northern Territory.

“The exhibition profiles creative interpretations of bird species, by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists that illustrate the significant relationship between people and birds in Central Australia and the Top End,” Ms Barrkman said.

She said the exhibition would include The Flyway Print Exchange, featuring prints on paper by 20 artists from nine countries that form the East Asian Australasian Flyway.

“Annually, Darwin and Alice Springs are visited by shorebirds as they replenish themselves on their annual global migrations between Earth’s North and South Poles,” she said. “By contrast, a recent major acquisition of 42 works that form an installation entitled Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana - Birds that live around Yuendumu, created by Warlpiri artists, provides a colourful and vibrant depiction of abundant bush birds that reside in the arid Australian desert.” 

Ms Barrkman said the exhibition would bring together several collections of artworks and provide an opportunity for visitors to learn more about current research at CDU with talks by an internationally renowned bird experts and local researchers on offer.

“Our feathered friends… the art of birds” will be accompanied by a suite of public programs featuring academic research that is spearheaded by staff and students from CDU,” Ms Barrkman said.

“In November, internationally renowned bird specialist Professor Stephen Garnett will deliver a public lecture on birdlife in the NT and there will be a symposium of talks by CDU doctoral candidates focused on current research into bird species, habitat management and migration habits.”

The exhibition will open on Wednesday 12 October at 5.30pm and will run until 25 February 2017. For more information about opening times and the public talks visit W: