Wings Unfettered -British Columbia

Humming birds -Jewelled Messengers!

Wings Unfettered began with an Art and environment themed residency at Caetani Cultural Centre and Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Vernon , British Columbia. The focus of this one and a half month long residency were the Humming birds found in the Okanagan valley. Climate change and loss of habitat amidst other factors are forcing many migratory birds to move to new locations in search for food and shelter. Audubon claims that the Allen's and the Rufous hummingbirds might loose upto 90% of their habitat by 2080. This residency allowed me to enter into a dialouge  with conservationists and naturalists from North Okanagan Naturalist club and Allan Brooks Nature Centre. 

The project commenced with me building miniature sculptures of three humming birds which are found in the region being, The Rufous, Calliope and the Black-Chinned. Each bird was carefully handcrafted and the feathers were painstakingly cut to precision. Humming bird banders from the Naturalist club shared a lot of data on these magnificent creatures. From their dimunitive size to their irridescent feathers and their incredible migratory journey.The purpose of this residency was to understand the avi-fauna culture in the Okanagan and the threats that the future holds for the birds found in the region. 

The project progressed with a workshop for children that was conducted at Allan Brooks Nature Centre. The children were taught to build their own humming birds using paper and wire. Children were introduced to the ideas of being a naturalist , recording one's sightings in nature and always carrying a pair of binoculars with them. It was astonishing to see how much they knew about the wildlife found in the region and beyond. 

The residency culminated with a presentation at Allan Brooks Nature Centre and an exhibition of the three humming birds that I constructed while I was there.The Presentation highlighted my journey as a wildlife artist , measures that I am taking to reach out to various communities and educating them through art .This was followed by a talk on the dangers that birds face in the Anthropocene age and measures that should be taken to protect them.The naturalist club also collaborated with me on this project and set up a small bird banding station with the humming bird trap and equipment used to band humming birds and also did a brief presentation on the humming birds.Through this project I was able to reach out to various community members in Vernon , BC. Link to the publication of this project :http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/life/article_cb29a5f4-7b9e-11e6-833d-8bc69d20fd48.html