Starting: March 7th, 2019 — Ending: June 15th, 2019
Plumage – The Majestic Art of Birds is a unique collection of paintings, photography and sculpture spanning more than 150 years, that focuses on the ability for birds to reflect nature’s expression of colour, beauty and creativity. Drawing together historically significant artworks by major North American naturalists and artists, as well as contemporary images by local wildlife photographers, the exhibition celebrates one of nature’s most diverse and dynamic animal groups.
Wild animals resonate with us because we share core needs, like delighting in communication, building intricate shelters to rear young, using beauty to attract and repel, migrating for opportunity and exhibiting a propensity for play and activity. Yet, we are also awed by their ‘otherness’. Birds, especially, have a magical quality and mastery over their world in being able to fly, which we find foreign and mysterious. They exist in every corner of the world, within pristine natural areas as well as urban, human-impacted spaces. They are simultaneously distant, commonplace and exotic, practical but also entertaining and beautiful.
Birds offer a connection to the natural world – which we are losing more and more. Robert Bateman profoundly believes that, ‘the world would be a better place if everyone was a bird watcher‘, and it is through conservation, science and art that we can rebuild our connection to nature, as well as birds. Featuring works from some of the world’s most iconic and pioneering naturalists of North America, often quoted as major influencers of Robert Bateman’s work, this exhibition traverses scale, time and style – much like birds themselves.
John James Audubon (1785-1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. Charles Darwin was a student of Audubon, and quoted him several times in “On Origin of Species”. Often cited as “the most expensive book of all time,” his major work was a colour-plate book entitled “The Birds of America” (1827–1839), considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed.
James Fenwick Lansdowne, OC OBC (1937-2008) was a renowned Canadian painter, illustrator, printmaker and author. Born in Hong Kong but later brought up in Victoria, BC, Lansdowne’s works have been exhibited around the world.
Major Allan Brooks (1869-1946) was born in India, but emigrated to Canada in the 1880s, and became one of the most important North American bird illustrators during the first half of the twentieth century. He became a household name in Canada, featuring in numerous publications, including National Geographic Magazine and Taverner’s Birds of Western Canada.
Terry Venables is a locally-based wildlife photographer, with a particular passion for birds and the natural ecosystems of Southern Vancouver Island.
Summer 2023.. I just received notice that my blog has been awarded a distinction of being one of the top 10 photography blogs in Canada.
* All images and content copyright Terry Venables and NaturalImagesCanada *