Manning Regional Art Gallery artist in residence seeks help with shorebird project

Threatened species artist Bridget Nicholson making clay eggs with Laikey and Zali at Old Bar Festival 2018. Photo NPWS
Threatened species artist Bridget Nicholson making clay eggs with Laikey and Zali at Old Bar Festival 2018. Photo NPWS

Members of the Mid North Coast community have the unique opportunity to join renowned Melbourne artist, Bridget Nicholson, to contribute to a piece of artwork Bridget is creating to raise awareness about threatened shorebirds.

Bridget will be the Manning Regional Art Gallery’s Artist in Residence from December 8 to 18 and is inviting people to visit her and help make clay shorebird eggs as part of her artwork.

“I would love to meet as many residents and visitors to Taree and the surrounding areas as possible, and I need the community’s help to create thousands of hollow clay eggs that will form part of a collection I am creating to be exhibited at the Manning Regional Art Gallery in 2019,” Bridget said.

Bridget’s artwork will form part of a broader collection of pieces for the Art of Threatened Species project, a partnership between the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program, Create NSW and Orana Arts. The aim of this project is to raise the profile of threatened species in creative and innovative ways.

Bridget is spending time in the local area to learn more about the beach nesting shorebirds of the Manning Estuary.

You may also like:

Little tern eggs in a scrape on Old Bar Beach. Photo K Howard NPWS

Little tern eggs in a scrape on Old Bar Beach. Photo K Howard NPWS

“I am excited to be part of this project and to use my experience as a sensory and experience-based artist to help show the interaction between people and the world we live in, which includes our plants and animals and natural environment.”

Saving Our Species senior project officer, Katherine Howard, said little terns, pied oystercatchers and beach stone-curlews return every year to the Harrington, Manning Point and Old Bar beaches to lay beautifully camouflaged eggs in small scrapes in the sand.

“Ironically, it is this camouflage that places eggs and chicks at risk of crushing and disturbance from people, dogs and four-wheel drive vehicles.

We are asking all beach visitors to ‘share the shore’ over summer - look out for signs and temporary fences indicating shorebird nesting areas and give the birds their space so they can raise their chicks

Saving Our Species senior project officer, Katherine Howard

“We are asking all beach visitors to ‘share the shore’ over summer - look out for signs and temporary fences indicating shorebird nesting areas and give the birds their space so they can raise their chicks,” Katherine said.

“Art can be a powerful way to shed light on important topics and I hope this act of creating delicate, hollow ceramic eggs will encourage beach visitors to be more aware of these eggs on local beaches,” said Bridget.

No prior experience with clay or any extraordinary art skills required, just willing hands.

To book a clay egg-making experience, call Bridget Nicholson on 0459 212 118.

Bridget is inviting people to make clay eggs with her at the gallery from Saturday, December 8 to Sunday. December 16, not including Monday or Tuesday when the gallery is closed.

For more information on the Art of Threatened Species project, visit https://www.oranaarts.com/art-of-the-threatened-species

Related reading: