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Picking Up The Pieces – The Clean Up Birds

I have made three new birds for a group mosaic exhibition “Picking Up The Pieces” with South West Mosaic Artists, currently showing at Cockington Court, Torquay.

As usual I interpreted the title of the exhibition quite literally. I imagined what the world would be like after the apocalypse (here I am again, all doom and gloom!)

Like the four horses of the apocalypse, these are the three birds. The clean up birds: The Plastic Seagull , The Bone Catcher and the Urn Bird. I think they are all self explanatory. We already have seagulls who swallow plastic…they came early…

Plastic Seagull

Plastic Seagull
(Painted plastic, washed up old fishing net and line, interdental brushes, bits of Barbie and Barbie toys, plastic Barcelona bead)
Detail of Plastic Seagull

The feathers are made using painted recycled plastic. The stomach contains old fishing net and line collected from the beach, used (and washed) interdental brushes and recycled bits of Barbie and Barbie toys.

Bone Catcher

Making the Bone Catcher
Bone Catcher
(recycled Halloween plastic skeleton, fused glass eye, ceramic tile)
Detail of Bone Catcher

Note: (There happens to be a bird who lives on a diet of bones called a “Bearded Vulture” who lives in Southern Europe. It is a near threatened species. )

head of Bone Catcher

The Urn Bird

Making the Urn Bird

For the Urn Bird I wanted to use colours suggesting burning embers and ash. I collected some lead slag from the spoil heaps at Charterhouse on the hills of Priddy. Lead ore was originally mined in the Roman times there. Once the ore was washed and smelted the waste was left in huge spoil heaps. In the 18th Century the slag or “gangue” was re-smelted with more sophisticated equipment to make more lead ore.

The lead slag contains melted glass and like large lumps of smalti or any other melted glass the surface shines with rainbow and black coloured circular rings.

The Urn Bird
(lead slag, ashes in vials, mirror glass, fused glass eye, ceramic and glass tile)
grouting and cleaning the slag
vials containing ashes

Plenty of time to come and see our exhibition, Cockington Court in Torquay!

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  1. these are awesome ! sooo cool! I am going to see this exhibition with my Mum….. hopeuflly a couple weeks time.

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