AN environmental art project created by 19 printmakers from the Anglesea Art House launched at Anglesea’s Surf Coast Art Space last week, igniting conversation about a group of threatened species in Australia.
The exhibition is part of a nation-wide project – the Overwintering Project – initiated by Melbourne-based printmaker Kate Gorringe-Smith, vice president of the Print Council of Australia.
Much like her previous project, the Flyway Print Exchange, the Overwintering Project engages with other artists to raise awareness for one of Australia’s most endangered group of birds, migratory shorebirds.
Over 150 artists from Australia and New Zealand have participated in the initiative, contributing $10,000 to shorebird research.
“These birds have been pushed to the margins,” said Gorringe-Smith who opened the exhibition in Anglesea.
“Basically, wetland habitat is being destroyed at a greater rate than our forests. I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what wetlands are. We don’t value mud, we don’t understand that when the seas rise it is the wetlands that are going to be able to absorb extra liquid, that’s their job – and we are so busy reclaiming them.”
Surf Coast Art Space coordinator Cinnamon Stephens said she was “blown away” by the number of people who came to see the exhibition.
“The artworks are all so exquisite and really capture the very delicate essence of the birds they were inspired by. It was a great honour to have the project’s originator, Kate Gorringe-Smith, open the show,” she said.
Overwintering will continue daily until April 28 at the Surf Coast Art Space, 103 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea. For news and updates, visit facebook.com/SurfCoastArtSpace.