About abirdabode

Abirdabode is an art project and an environmental project under one roof During 2014 and 2015, we will be running a series of workshops and creative activities exploring urban and rural habitats, trying different art forms and making beautiful art bird boxes for our feathered friends in Oldham. There are lots of opportunities to get involved: drop-in sessions decorating human scale bird boxes, group activities designing and building bird boxes, environmental visits exploring local habitats and green spaces. The Abirdabode Project will culminate in an amazing exhibition at Gallery Oldham of the work created, following which the bird boxes will be released into the wild to decorate, amaze and provide homes and safe nest sites for our local birds. If you or a group you are part of would like to get involved, contact Richard or Jacqui at hello@abirdabode.co.uk. Or you can ring them - Jacqui on 07801 837281 or Richard on 07932 050926.

Bird Boxes in a library?

Bird boxes in a library – what a strange idea!

But if you visited Gallery Oldham to see the abirdabode exhibition over the last six weeks you may have been invited to seek out the ten Art Bird Boxes hiding amongst the books in Oldham Library; The Secret Art Bird Box Trail.

These ten art bird boxes were created by abirdabode artists Richard and Jacqui. Working with the many groups on the project was inspiring and they couldn’t resist making a set of Art Bird Boxes of their own.

They hid them in the library as a bit of fun and if you want to seek them out there is a clue sheet available here, but you’ll have to be quick as they are only there until next week (although we’re sure they’ll pop up again somewhere else soon!).

 A quick hint for Art Bird Box watchers– they’re shelved by theme and categorized using the Dewey Decimal System.

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Beautiful illustrative Art Birds to spot amongst the Art Bird flock

If you’ve visited the abirdabode exhibition at Gallery Oldham during the last few weeks hopefully you took time to have a close look at the Art Bird Flock.

Most of the flock (of over three hundred Art Birds) were created by members of the public at drop in events including Festival Oldham, Oldham Flowers Festival, Well Good Arts Week and RSPB Discovery Sunday. They show a multitude of imaginative interpretations of beautiful bird plumage and create a stunning display. We think that digitally reproduced the flock would make an amazing wallpaper or fabric design if anyone has the technology and is interested!

However if you looks closely you may find hidden amongst the flock eleven unique birds painted by Gordon Haigh as ‘realistic illustrative Art Birds‘.

We met Gordon through the abirdabode project and it instantly became apparent that he was an artist we’d want to collaborate with and to be part of the project. His chosen medium is water colour (which is hard to believe when you see the level of detail in his work) and his subject (and obsession) is, of course, birds.

We hope you like Gordon’s realistic Art Birds and fingers crossed we’ll get chance to collaborate with him on a future abirdabode project. In the meantime you can see more of his work at The Multicraft Cabin in Holmfirth and contact him here.

 

The abirdabode exhibition launch, a very busy day at Gallery Oldham!

What do you call a group of Art Birdbox Artists and friends? An imagination, a creativity, an achievement, an excitement?

 Whatever you choose to call them there was a huge gathering of artists and friends at Gallery Oldham on Saturday 14th March for the launch of the abirdabode exhibition.

Between 1pm and 4pm over 200 visitors flocked to the gallery to see the art bird boxes, meet the art bird box artists, have a chat and to show off their creations to family and friends. (Apparently this is the best attendance for an exhibition launch at the Gallery ever! Thank you T-Jay for clicking people in!)

Along with the Art Birdbox Artists some of the young people who decorated Art Birds dropped in to see the show and to find their creations in the Art Bird Flock. We were honoured that amongst the Art Bird Flock were hidden eleven very special realistic Art Birds created by Gordon Haigh especially for the show!

Putting the exhibition together took a lot of hard work and dedication and wouldn’t have happened without the support of Joy, Ian, Steve and Andy from Gallery Oldham – thank you all. Thank you also to Oldham Arts Development, especially Annie for your support (and fabulous bird dresses) and Shonagh for believing in the project (and handing out bird seed!).

And an especially big thank you to all the amazing Art Bird Artists who took part in the project, your hard work, creativity and good humour have been an inspiration to us and to everyone who has visited the show. It was great to see you at the opening and to show you how fantastic your work looked in the gallery.

 We hope you are all as proud of your achievements as we are!

The exhibition is open to the public until 2nd May so there’s still plenty of time to visit!

T-Jay recreates Shakespeare’s Globe

T-Jay has created a really great bird box based on Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and what a challenge it has been!

The Globe Theatre proved quite easy to find plans and images for but translating them into 3D has taken T-Jay on a real creative journey, during which he has worked really hard and proved his perseverance by refusing to compromise on the accuracy of his bird box. Whether we end up with a thatch roof remains to be seen…

Challenges have included making the box a dodecagon ( a twleve sided shape and a new word for us all), making the roof a tapered dodecagon. This required using some interesting compound angles which challenged Richard as much as T-Jay and made the box a real collaboration between them!

Once constructed the challenges continue as T-Jay insists on decorating the box with timber joist details (to reflect the original timber frame construction) and we think T-Jay will be doing some overtime at Woodend Mill during half term to get his nest box finished.

So far the box looks great and we’re sure all the hard work and dedication will be more than worth while.

T-Jay has also proved an invaluable assistant on the project working with Barrier Breakers to share the skills he’s gained making the Globe Theatre (and also proving his worth pulling the abirdabode Partridge in a Pear Tree carriage for the Oldham Reindeer Parade).

 

 

Meadow habitat inspires a beautiful bird box

Helen joined the abirdabode project very late in the day but proved up to the challenge of making an art bird box. With a little help from Dylan (superstar assistant) Helen spent her first every DSYR session making a diamond bird box from a kit of pre cut parts (the same pattern used with the Barrier breakers group). Having mastered power tools she returned for her second session armed with a very detailed drawing of a beautiful summer meadow design bursting with bright colours.

Helen’s bird box is certainly the brightest and sunniest and the detail and colours are quite something to see.

 

A Moulin Rouge for the birds

Katie’s Moulin Rouge bird box has been complicated to make due to compound angles for both the roof and the sides (but especially for the roof). Luckily Katie proved to be a bit of a maths whizz in calculating the sizes of the triangles and the proportions of the bird box are extremely striking and sure to make a great artwork.

Katie says

The inspiration for my bird box is from the film, Moulin Rouge. I am recreating the windmill. With sails, the body and design.

 The windmill, will be the colour of a very deep red, with black details for the windows. The roof will be a very dirty colour of grey.

 The reason that I chose to do the Moulin Rouge windmill is because I am a huge fan of the movie and I thought that the shape and design of the body would be a perfect size for the birds to inhabit. It has a very tall and sturdy structure to it.

 

An art deco snail art bird box!

Zak has taken art deco as his theme and combined this with a sculptural form taken from nature – a snail.

His bird box involved some complicated cutting out to make the snail shell spiral and some tricky carpentry to clad the curve in bendy ply, but with a little help from Greg it came together really well. Unfortunately the painting involved many, many colours and proved just as time consuming, but the end result is going to be great…

You can see the finished bird box at Gallery Oldham from March 14th until May 2nd at the abirdabode exhibition.