A wall of extinction: Groundbreaking exhibition gives a close-up on what extinction looks like with the last 50 orange-bellied parrots
ABOUT THE ANIMAL
Researchers are fighting hard to help this bird but they have been met with a lot of hurdles. Orange-bellied parrots are small birds that breed in Tasmania before migrating to the southern coastlines of South Australia and Victoria for the winter. With brilliant green plumage and a bright orange belly, these beautiful birds are struggling to survive, particularly it seems when it comes to migration. In the past 2 decades, the juvenile survival rate for migration has more than halved, from 51% in 1995 to only 20% in 2017. In 2016 they hit an all-time low with only 3 females returning to the breeding ground. And the researchers don’t know why. Dejan Stojanovic from the Australian National University who led a study on this issue told ABC, "What we know is that they die when they're not in Tasmania, but the actual cause of deaths and the locations where they die, a lot of that is still a mystery.” Researchers need desperate help if they are to solve the mystery of the deadly migration and save these birds from extinction.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Can you imagine what extinction looks like? It’s pretty difficult. As we go about our day to day life in the urban jungle, our lives are often devoid of the vibrant animal kingdom outside the city limits. We don’t see the numbers dwindling, so how can we truly understand?
In a groundbreaking work of contemporary art, internationally renowned artists and eco-warriors, Gillie and Marc Schattner, are giving us a rare glimpse into what extinction looks like. With a close up of Australia’s most threatened bird and one of the world’s rarest parrots, the orange-bellied parrot, this unique form of conservation lets us see the last 50 wild individuals left on the planet with a beautiful close up. “It can be difficult to imagine what extinction looks like so we wanted to create a work that would help the public visually understand what this means,” explains Gillie. With 50 stunning paintings, the artists have captured the dwindling numbers of this endangered parrot in a series that can all fit on one wall. It is a sobering exhibit to help bring understanding to this important issue and inspire conservation. “The fact that every member of an entire species can fit on one wall is quite shocking. Visually, this is very clear and we must act fast before the wall becomes empty,” urges Marc.
‘The Last 50 Orange Bellies’ has been created to raise awareness with the public, not only about extinction in general but also about these beautiful birds. This is a form of conservation art that will change the course of survival of a species through knowledge as well as donations. “Our goal with this exhibition is to raise awareness and interest in conservation but also to help the important work of the researchers by sending donations their way,” said Marc. The exhibition will provide information on the birds as well as a link to donate to the research, helping the public to play a more active role and become a part of the movement, both for conservation and for orange-bellied parrots.
Known for their monumental public works around the world, Gillie and Marc are passionate eco-warriors who use their art to bring awareness to the public of some of the planets most endangered animals. As part of their Love The Last project, they have created major works including ‘The Last Three’ in NYC for the Northern white rhino, ‘The Orphans’ in London for the African elephant, and ‘King Nyani’ in NYC for gorillas. Their work has raised thousands of dollars to help conservation efforts and inspired hundreds of thousands of people to think about the wild animals of the world and what they can do to help. ‘The Last 50 Orange Bellies’ will join the Love The Last movement to help bring awareness and join the movement to save Australia’s most threatened bird.
June 25th - August 2nd 2021
All sales will be through the Milk Factory Gallery.
Click here to donate to the Difficult Birds Research Group and help support the conservation of these beautiful birds.
HOW TO HELP
Gillie and Marc have created many beautiful works of art depicting birds, including 'The Last 50 Orange-Bellied Parrots'. By purchasing any of these, a percentage of the proceeds will help to fund their next very big project 'Love the Last March' in 2023.