Sing is an immersive, poetic exhibition opening on 13 March at Bayside Gallery, corner Wilson and Carpenter St, Brighton VIC 3186.
A once-in-a lifetime artist residency in Brazil’s Amazon jungle inspired artist Debbie Symons to create 100 pendant bird nests from African palm oil fronds.
Debbie’s hand-woven pendants recreate the Yellow-rumped Cacique nests she spotted suspended over the flooded forests while on a river trip within the jungle.
Nests hold a speaker that plays a pre-recorded tropical bird species song, connecting the art to the nature.
“The nests had a real impact on me,” Debbie said.
“When I returned home, I researched the pendant shape and found many tropical bird species use natural materials to weave their nests in this shape.
The fronds come from a research project underway at James Cook University in Cairns.
“African palm oil fronds are cultivated as an industrial, agricultural crop following the clearing of tropical rainforests globally,” Debbie said.
“The fronds are flown from Cairns freshly cut and need to be woven within seven days before they dry.”
Using the palm oil fronds to make the nests draws links between natural habitat destruction and its impacts on native wildlife and agriculture.
Each pendant takes around six hours to weave the fronds around a chicken wire frame in layers that shrink as they dry.
Sing is on exhibition until 9 May.
Artist Dr Debbie Symons creating the works.