Kingfisher squadron

Emily Valentine Bullock, Artist

This is one of the sculptures in our collection. It was made in Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 2010.
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Object Detail

About the Work
I create mythical beasts - winged dogs and lizards, and now aeroplanes. The planes move the work in a new direction - combining the man-made form with the bird. Planes are colonising the skies. Birds no longer dominate our view of the heavens.

In my work I wish to discuss how attitudes to wearing birds parts have changed. Is this just because of fashion, or has society become more caring of animals? I wish to stimulate the viewer with the uncomfortable nature of the feather, to question our callousness treatment of animals and birds, and ask how we sub-consciously classify animals – pet or pest, valued or worthless, beautiful or plain and why.

The source of the feathers is vital to the work. In 1999 I made Road Kill, a pair of shoes using feathers from a road kill lorikeet and this lead to my continuing use of this source when ever I can. A driver's right to use the road is a given. Animal and bird kill barely rates a mention. Road kill was the source of Galah Collie 2007 which was acquired by Northern Territory Art Gallery, NT Australia.

I have been trapping the registered pest, the Indian mynah bird and using the feathers. With these, I made Mynah Collie 2007, a feathered dog, one of my dog flu series, and it was awarded a merit prize in the Norsewear, the New Zealand Contemporary Art Award. I have been using the mynah birds for my new Squadron Series (groups of small planes for the wall). This series compares the military invasion with the invasion of non-indigenous species."
Artist Statement 17/7/2012
50 x 130 x 130 mm each
feathers and mixed media
Six plastic aeroplanes covered with blue/green feathers to resemble birds.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Tylee Residency exchange, 2011.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
Mar 2011



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