Madeleine Kelly is well known for her figurative paintings that assemble information gleaned from the fields of archaeology and the sciences. Her works convey an ecological awareness with a stroke of magic realism. In this installation, Kelly has recreated species of birds – somewhat whimsically, using Tetra Pak drink containers – that she has identified on her walks through West Wollongong.
The inventive use of discarded materials has a certain correspondence with the fleeting encounters with the birds that inspire each form, the containers are used and crushed, suggesting ‘a crisis – those endangered, betrayed or disappeared’. This tension between nature and culture is exposed with the addition of the names of all the region’s threatened and extinct birds that the artist would like to view.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art stands and recognise the creative contribution First Australians make to the art and culture of this country.