There seems to be a recurring theme this week here at TSL. On Monday I gave you Jo Luping’s lovely ceramic bowls, which included images of New Zealand’s tuis and fantails. Then, yesterday we had Leila Jeffreys and her images of the iconic Australian cockatoo. And today, yet more birds as we return to New Zealand for Phil Walters and his whimsical sculptural interpretations of native birds.
I covet one of these and I may just have to visit the Essenze shop in Parnell for a sneaky self-Christmas gift when I am home next week. At just NZ$79 each, I think it would bring me so much pleasure to look out at my Sydney garden with a wee piece of home in one of the trees. Now I just have to work out which one is my favourite…
In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. (Robert Lynd)
Apparently, the inspiration for the designs first started with Phil’s interest in street art and installation. He had been in Bristol and was an admirer of stencil graffiti artist Bansky. Walters states, “Frankly, I loved the guys swagger, intelligence and most of all his humour. I was in Bristol, Banksy‘s home in 2009 looking at a Banksy exhibition and was pretty impressed with his cunning.
I sat on the plane on the 28 hours back home to Auckland wondering what my version of ‘Banksy’ could be and decided that I’d do something sculptural and in 3 dimensions. The idea of metal birds came from wanting to do something I could covertly hammer into lamp posts, trees and buildings in public spaces that would somehow beautify and add value, or at least not offend.
I ‘placed’ around 40 birds in the field around the North Island over Xmas 2011.
It turns out that not only did they not offend, actually people wanted them both for their gardens and houses and their own ‘public installations’.”
That story just makes me want one of his creations even more…
If you are interested in picking up your own piece of native Kiwiana bird life (and one that customs will have no problem with), Essenze ships internationally. You can check out all they have on offer here.