Window Gallery, Belconnen Arts Centre
Until 18 December 2020
Thea Katauskas’ installation of bird sculptures draws on the artist’s interest in and observation of the changing environment in both North America and Australia.
The exhibition catalogue tells us: ‘In 2019 the journal Science published a study showing the loss of 29 per cent of North American birdlife since 1970 … the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires in Australia have resulted in drastic habitat loss in our region.’
Flock is a collection of fantastical birds, quite human in their appearance and stance, clothed in decorative capes reminiscent of Native American ceremonial garb. Some birds are created as standing sculptures while others hang (rather disturbingly) as wall plaques. This flock is a collection of forty-six highly individualistic birds rather than all of a kind.
There is no doubt that these are works of beauty and things of desire, the artist inviting us to admire the spectacular creatures around us. However, Thea Katauskis also invites us to consider the effects of habitat and species loss and to think about how we might halt the destruction. Human agency has wrought change – we wonder if it is retrievable.
All work is for sale and can be purchased online: https://www.belcoarts.com.au/flock/
Image: Sentinel (1, 7, 6 and 9) by Thea Katauskas