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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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!

Trinity Terrace completed!

At Trinity House this week painting was completed and fine detail added using different roof tile, door, window and ‘very posh’ fanlight stencils.

Following last weeks request we also added chimneys to the houses along with a wire aerial for Eleanor. Joyce had the great idea of using one of the spare chimneys as a door step – we’ll just need a really tiny donkey stone to polish it now!

Once the basic painting was completed it was time to add some individual details to the designs; Joyce added a detailed door with fanlight, Edna added some shrubs, grass and flowers to enhance her birdabode’s garden and Brian painted a redwing and wagtail on the side of his house – possibly the start of a graffiti career?

Working at Trinity house has been great fun and we were really pleased that the staff were so positive regarding the engagement by the residents, they’re planning to deliver more similar art activities and we’re hoping to be able to pop back soon and offer some advice and support.

Our last session was topped off when at lunchtime Edna made an impromptu speach in front of everyone thanking us and saying how much she’d enjoyed working on her bird box.

Thank you so much to everyone at Trinity House and hope to see you at the abirdabode exhibition soon to admire the completed Trinity Terrace!

The biggest abirdabode ever is complete!

Success at Grassroots as the big, big abirdabode is finished.

Two days hard work by everyone and the human sized nest box is complete and looking fine!

No pressure for abirdabode this week as on arrival at Grassroots we noticed that item three on the weeks work schedule was finish Birdhouse! Everyone rose to the challenge and worked extremely hard to ensure we reached our goal, and to stay warm in the sub zero temperatures!

Marnie and Loz cut extra roof planks whilst Neil and Kelly trimmed the eaves to fit, Nathan, Kelly, Andy and Jacqui completed the mosaic and timber round designs for the nest box sides. The additional last minute task of making a set of twelve sparrow nest boxes was completed in just under two hours by the speedy team of Darian, Ben and Mark.

With just ten minutes to go before lunch on Friday we raced to assemble the big abirdabode. After a swift panel saw adjustment to the peaks of the side walls everything fitted together beautifully and the Big abirdabode was complete and looking amazing. Everyone was thrilled and extremely proud of what their skill and hard work had achieved.

We’re now looking forward to installing the Big abirdabode in Gallery Oldham and giving everyone a chance to admire it.

Thank you to everyone at Grassroots for all the hard work and enthusiasm, it’s been a brilliant few weeks and a real pleasure to work with you all. The cakes are on us at the abirdabode show launch on March 14th!

 

 

 

From cardboard to plywood, maquettes into reality!

The Dovestone Youth Rangers’ Art Birdboxes are really taking shape following last weeks plan drawing and dimension sorting session. Working from their cardboard maquettes some of the designs needed to be adapted slightly from the to make sure they worked as Bird boxes – we followed the criteria offered by the RSPB and BTO for the entrance holes sizes and heights.

The Birdboxes are in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles as expected and all are made from a base of exterior 18mm plywood. Parts for the Birdboxes were cut from the plywood by the group using their newly acquired band-saw and scroll saw skills but some of the parts which required the use of a table saw were cut by Richard in his studio working from the scale plans ;especially those requiring compound mitres and much head scratching.

The Bird boxes now consist of a large pile of parts ready for assembly and decoration.

Latest on the Dove Stone Youth Rangers

ToriThe Dove Stone Youth Rangers are now getting stuck in to making their art bird boxes, following a session drawing plans and working out exactly what size the component parts should be.  This was harder for some than others – the Moulin Rouge Windmill, the pyramid shaped birdbox and the Globe Theatre proved quite challenging with a lot of maths formulae and protractor action going on (and some crying but that was mainly me – I’ve always found maths hard).  Katie is proving our resident maths genius though so has helped a lot of the group with their angles and trapeziums.

Some of the group have started cutting the final pieces for their bird boxes with Bronagh doing a sterling job creating lots of circular pieces for her Jack Skellington birdbox.  We’ve also done some Arts Award work, thinking about the inspiration behind the birdboxes and the final surface decoration/designs.

Eve, Jake and Zac have been wielding the camera and have taken pictures of everyone with their maquette…

 

 

Grassroots join abirdabode

We’re pleased to announce that Grassroots Community Allotment in Failsworth will be joining the abirdabode project in the next few weeks.

Grassroots is an amazing venue with allotments, an orchard, chickens and bees. Situated right next to the Rochdale Canal it offers a number of habitats for birds and wildlife that we can explore for inspiration.

We’re hoping some of the Grassroots members who took part in the Catalyst Junk Sculpture project a few years ago will get involved again along with some brand new participants. We can’t wait to see what they create!

Grassroots