A recent call, instigated by The Flyway Print Exchange, for submissions from printmakers caught my attention. In conjunction with an exhibition of the prints in the exchange at the Riddoch Art Gallery in Mount Gambier, South Australia, there was to be included a selection of additional prints by artists wishing to take part – Birds Without Borders. Prints were to be ‘based on aspects of shorebirds and their migratory flyway’.
This was the first I’d heard of a ‘flyway’, so research ensued. It was a fascinating mini-adventure, learning that certain water birds, which I took to be native to Australia, actually held duel citizenship. How fascinating is Mother Nature and the journeys she inspires. The East Asian-Australasian Flyway web site was a mine of information on the migratory birds that travel hundreds, and sometimes thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes. One such bird is the Great Knot, which I chose to represent in print.
With seeing the call close to the deadline and time against me, rather than a reduction print I chose a White-Line woodcut for the work. Wanting to add some symbology I included the North Star and the Southern Cross with a pair of Great Knots facing in opposite directions. It’s a fairly simple print (of necessity due to time constrictions) but it has been chosen for the exhibition, which pleases me immensely. It’s always a great feeling to get our work out there on view, and it’s also heartening to be part of an awareness campaign for our amazing birds, many species of which are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to human intervention.