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Makara Model School

Region: Wellington

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Birds of a Feather

Creative name: Debbie Fish

Project information: Birds of a Feather takes primary school age students on an investigation into the native birds of Aotearoa, spanning multiple creative skills and stages of development, culminating in a permanent dispersed outdoor installation work that will be embedded into the landscape of Makara Model School. This installation work highlights and pays tribute to the ongoing work that Makara Model School does in conservation, bird counting, and planting trees to create homes for Aotearoa’s native birds; alongside an active trapping regime to protect them from predators. This project offers an opportunity for each child at the school in 2022 to make a lasting creative contribution to enhance the outdoor space, as it goes through a period of change. 

Each student will create their own feather, inspired by a different native bird, using found and recycled materials, that will be embedded into a concrete paver with resin and laid in the landscape at the school. These pavers will provide both a practical pathway through the various outdoor spaces, and as they will be created larger than life, will offer a chance to highlight the beauty, intricacy, variety, and detail of the different species of native birds. 

Each student’s feather will also include notes on which native bird it represents, who the artist impression is by, and what scale the feather is made to. The overall effect of the installation will be one of unity, as the pavers and the form of embedding draws each of the individual feathers together in their presentation, but the feathers themselves will provide opportunity for creative expression.

Project starting: March 2022

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