Spix Macaw

August 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

When the spix macaw was first discovered in 1819, it was already a rare species. Efforts to track its population began in the late 1980s, but naturalists were only able to find seventeen in captivity and one male in the wild (has not been seen since 2000). Now presumably extinct in the wild, the survival of this beautiful blue macaw depends on the cooperation of captive breeding programmes, like with the excellent Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation in Qatar.

I first saw the spix macaw in Andrew Zuckerman’s stunning photography book, Birds. The composition of the installation is based on his amazing photograph of one in flight. For an animal so dangerously close to extinction, the lively and detailed photographs are emotive.

On June 26, Navillus Gallery and Spoke Club members helped me make soft blue and iridescent feathers for this installation! Thank-you for coming to the event, to Navillus Gallery for organising and The Spoke Club for hosting and designing a marbled cocktail. Marbling is very enjoyable on an outdoor patio with friends wearing nice clothes and a view of the Toronto sunset!

#DIYKaleidoscopic - Portable studio at The Spoke Club

big bird

I am currently reading about species conservation efforts, and our relationship with this macaw is connected to what I want my next series to be about.

for fun pic of spix on Replicators 2



August 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In the Middle Ages, masters depended on dogs to protect their land at night. For this responsibility, dogs were trained to kill men by attacking substitutes, such as a bear, capable of standing upright like a man, or a monkey sitting on a horse, resembling a man on horseback. Animal baiting became such a popular form of entertainment that dogs were bred for it. During the Renaissance, bulls, in addition to bears, were frequently used for baiting because they were readily available and could be eaten after the entertainment. Linda Kalof, author of  Looking at Animals in Human History, hypothesizes that the popularity of this horrible spectacle is rooted from an interest in understanding animal nature and temperament.

But bears were chosen because they are similar to people… did people find themselves in bears?

This puppy is no longer physically capable of animal baiting anymore. He can only love and be lovely!

a letter "T" for the friend I painted this for!