The Waiting Bird and other Rooftop Visitors: Cecily Grace
Birds on a city rooftop inspire fibre artist
Ordinary birds visiting an inner-city rooftop garden were the inspiration for a fascinating exhibition by artist Cecily Grace, which opens at Newcastle’s Timeless Textiles gallery in August.
The Waiting Bird and other Rooftop Visitors exhibition showcases Grace’s three life-long loves: birdlife, printing and photography, through the medium of textiles. This happy convergence has opened up an exciting new direction for the artist that builds on her lifetime of experience with fibre arts.
The works in the exhibition celebrate the 18 varieties of birds that have regularly visited Grace’s rooftop garden. This vibrant life is complimented by the beautiful backdrop of old and intricately-designed building facades, which feature in her city block. Grace was also inspired by a line of very old Cook and Norfolk Island pines which border the buildings. It has created the perfect backdrop for the daily dramas Grace has captured on camera.
“These birds act out their rituals, their wars, their survival,” she explains. “They fascinate with their movements, with the shapes created by their wings and feet, and their fierce, intense gazes. There was no looking for inspiration. The inspiration arrived and demanded to be documented.”
With her artistic practices limited by small apartment living, Grace evolved a simple process that has enabled her to produce creative work. She took photographs on a Canon Eos camera with various telephoto lenses. The images were digitally manipulated and printed on muslin or lawn with an inkjet printer. The resulting images have then been minimally stitched to enhance the dramatic lines and features of the bird itself or the movement of the bird.
The Waiting Bird and other Rooftop Visitors shows at Timeless Textiles Gallery in Hunter Street, Newcastle between 7 August and 1 September. The opening is from 6-8pm on Thursday, 8thAugust.