Rochelle School, London
Entrap/Conceal was made for Ghosts of Gone Birds, a group exhibition to highlight the work of Birdlife International. Artists were invited to respond to an extinct bird; I chose the Norfolk Island Kaka which vanished in the mid-1800s.
The ‘camouflage’ net is made from crochet cotton and glass beads, using colours from John Gould’s illustration of the Norfolk Island Kaka from The Birds of Australia, 1865. The materials reflect the killing of birds for their feathers, for fashion, and the objects used to barter for specimens on scientific expeditions. Glass beads were exchanged by Alfred Russel Wallace on his trips to Malaysia and other destinations in search of exotic species.
The function of the net is ambiguous; is it to trap or conceal; a tool for hunters or a protective device for the bird? It is displayed in a drawer from an old mahogany specimen cabinet with the Latin name of the parrot engraved on a brass plaque, as a reliquary for a lost species.
Ghosts of Gone Birds was curated by Ceri Levy, for further information please visit www.ghostsofgonebirds.com