Our native birds may not have exotic, brightly coloured, plumage but they are uniquely distinctive. Does our lack of native mammals make our native birds an even more important source of visual inspiration in our creativity? Or, is it simply that the delightful silhouette and fluttering flight of a fantail makes it such a compelling resource for artists? Perhaps the unhappy demise of the huia, hunted to extinction in order to adorn Victorian headdresses that makes it a poignant motif for highlighting the importance and unique nature of our native wildlife.
As makers and buyers are we drawn to pieces because of the influence of memory, folklore and superstition? I don’t wear many earrings but found myself unable to resist a pair of magpies. I’ve long been a champion of this much-maligned bird. Similarly, I can’t help but feel sorry for the tui.
Here’s a small snapshot inspired by our New Zealand native birds. Whilst you’re having a gander, don’t forget to vote for your favourite species in the Forest and Bird annual “Bird of the Year” poll.