Eastern Curlew, Western Port Icon:
I Am My Habitat 2021
linocut on eco-print; unique print
Courtesy of the artist
How do you make a bird as tiny and well camouflaged as a migratory shorebird visible? These creatures, whose annual migrations span the globe, live modestly on the fringes of our shores, their lives governed by the grand planetary forces of tide and season. We overlook their wetland habitat, and easily miss these small birds that scurry after the tide, dwarfed by the noisier, prevalent seagulls, pelicans and ibis.
I created this Eastern Curlew linocut on a human scale—so that we can look it in the eye and consider it an equal being. I eco-printed the paper using locally sourced plants and seaweeds to ground the work in the local environment. Eastern Curlews are our largest and also most endangered migratory shorebird, and a significant number of its global population spend the summer months on the shores of Western Port.