*rugenius in design , 02:30

Ghosts of Gone Birds- 11.15.11

ghosts-mainpic.jpg Here’s the latest from our London-based editor Justine Aw

Naturalists and art lovers are in for a treat with the stunning exhibition Ghosts of Gone Birds. Ghosts is the brainchild of filmmaker Ceri Levy and Chris Aldhouse of Goodpilot and an exhibition which captures and celebrates extinct bird species and raises awareness and funds for conservation. The show includes over 300 pieces created by an army of 120 artists, writers and musicians (see the full list here and all proceeds from the show will aid conservation through Bird Life International.

Those who can’t catch the show in London can still purchase some of the gorgeous prints through the online shop, but I would strongly recommend heading down to see this amazing show in person if you can. The exhibition runs until November 23rd at the Rochelle School in Shoreditch, full details here. In the meantime, take a look at the show through our eyes with our photo gallery of personal highlights and Ghost’s facebook page.


It’s incredible to see how differently the same species can be captured by the many artists in the show. For example, the beautiful spectacled cormorant as represented by Ralph Steadman and Harriet Mead.


Many of the pieces capture the extinct species in action, like these Greak Auks, which have come back to life in the work of Bruce Pearson.


An assortment of species and styles! From left to right: St Helena Hoopooe by Felt Mistress, Ben Newman’s Bishop’s O’o, Andrea Roe’s Grand Cayman Thrush and Felt Mistress’ Hawaii O’o.


Hugo Wilson’s Kangaroo Island Emu and Bárbara Ana Gómez’s Raiatea Parakeet.


I loved this series of beautifully embroidered birds on bark by Cally Higginbottom.


One of my favorite pieces of the show, this stunning book cut from Su Blackwell that brings together so many extinct species, which we (and future generations) can only know through their descriptions and a few preserved specimens.


The contrast of styles really helps reflect the diversity of species we have lost and the different ways we perceive them. This is Abigail Brown’s beautiful Lesser Akialoa.


Sir Peter Blake’s lovely ‘Dead as Dodo’ and Edd Pearman’s ‘We All, Us Four, Will Fly’ depicting the extinct Mysterious Starling, Red Moustached Fruit Dove, Mauritius Blue-Pigeon, Maupiti Monarch.


The beautiful and sombre “Seabirds” by Stephen Melton reminds us that 40% of these incredible creatures have been lost in the past 10 years.


The Stephens Island Wren by Rob Ryan.


Rebecca Foster’s handsome and extremely realistic Reunion Starling.


Keith Newstead’s automata bring life to the extinct with a wind-up handle.



Corporate Killers by Phil Knott.


My favorite room of the exhibition, was this space completely filled to the rafters with some 100 paintings by cartoonist Ralph Steadman. Love the touch of binoculars to get a closer look at some of these spectacular extinct birds.





Beautiful bush wren by The Little Theatre of Dolls and a lovely papercut by Ian Penney


An aggregation of Albatrosses by Gail Dooley and albatrosses dotted throughout the gallery space.


Jamie-Hewlett’s Hawaiian Crow (and a dodo!).


Street artist Moose contributed this beautiful flock of reverse graffiti birds which extend around the venue as well as throughout the city (we’ll have to keep an eye out for more!).




Upstairs, the exhibition moves from historical to present day, reminding us that extinction isn’t just a fact of our past, but an ongoing process and one which faces many of our bird species today. These shell casings and ‘chalk’ outline capture some of the endangered species found shot in Malta. The xrays depict the shot damage to individuals of species we may lose if further action is not taken. The message is clear and powerful and the show does a great job at celebrating our diversity lost and raising awareness, as well as funds for further conservation work to save the species we have left via Bird Life International.



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