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.
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.
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.
Vicky’s bird box is based on a traditional church building and has being designed specifically to provide a nest site for sparrows following Vicky’s research into our endangered birds.
The design consists of two standard bird box shapes joined together to create an elongated church shape and homes for two families of birds. Vicky is decorating her bird church with mosaics focusing on grey tones enhanced with vividly coloured detailed designs.
Tori’s art bird box is inspired by her love of the Lord of the Rings films and based on the a Hobbit home of the type that might be found in the Shire on Middle earth.
The Hobbit and LOTR birdbox!
My Bird box was inspired by the Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit films. It is based on bag End, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ house. I decided to keep the door round instead of making it the hole for the birds to enter because it is such a recognized feature if Bag End. Instead I’ve made the windows the place for the birds to enter.
Tori’s done a great job in developing her design from the maquette stage where it was very angular and really embraced the possibilities and process of making curved forms from timber.
Tori has expanded the idea of a friendly home by making her nest box a communal and designed for house sparrows – the Hobbits of the bird world. As well as working really hard to make what is quite a complex bird box Tori also used the design as part of her school work and produced some excellent 3D CAD plans from her maquette.
Hannah has created a birdbox based on the logo for her favorite band (and as featured on what we suspect is her favorite t-shirt).
The inspiration for my bird box was the All Time Low ghosts logo. All Time Low is a band I listen to. I wanted to design a bird box based on something I loved. I did 3 ghosts, all different sizes.
I did this by trying to cut out the shapes of the ghosts so that they all mould together. However this proved to be difficult, so the ghosts don’t mould perfectly together, however they do fit together well. The ghost on the right is the smallest and the ghost in the middle is the biggest.
The ghost on the left will be purple, the ghost in the middle will be blue and the ghost on the right will be red. The middle ghost will be the ghost the bird will nest in. One of the eyes will be the hole the bird goes into. The other eyes of the ghosts will be white. The base of the bird box will be black.
Choosing a cartoony graphic logo as inspiration has allowed Hannah to create a bird box with a really strong and clear sculptural form and great colours, as well as being a friendly and fun looking nest box.
It’s just ten days until the abirdabode exhibition opens at Gallery Oldham (on Saturday 14th March at 1pm) and we’re very busy getting everything ready. All the finished Art Bird Boxes are looking fantastic – we’re not going to reveal any of them here, you’ll have to come to the exhibition to see them!
We’re also preparing a display for the Art Bird Flock of over three hundred Art Birds created by people at Festival Oldham, Oldham Flower Festival, Well Good Arts Week and RSPB Dove Stone’s Discovery Sunday event. If you decorated one be sure to have a good explore of the Art Bird Flock and see if you can spot yours.
We’ll be at Gallery Oldham from 1pm till 4pm on Saturday 14th March along with many of the amazing Art Bird Box Artists from Dove Stone Youth Rangers, Barrier Breakers, Grassroots Community Project and Trinity House so please pop in and see us, admire the Art Bird Boxes and have a chat with their creators.
Hope to see you there…
The abirdabode Exhibition – Gallery Oldham March 14 to May 2nd
Discovery Sunday at RSPB Dove Stone reservoir promised to be a great day but the British weather had other plans. We set off into a spring like morning and were joined by a few intrepid early risers to decorate an Art Bird and make a nest box. But the rain and wind slowly crept across the hills, hiding the peregrines on Dove Stone Quarry and forcing us to shelter under our hastily erected gazebo. Then the snow set in. By lunchtime we realised our gazebo wasn’t built for the suddenly arctic conditions and decided we’d better call it a day and make a swift exit before we froze.
Well done to the brave few who joined us to decorate an Art Bird and make a nest box and we hope to return for a full day in Summer. Meanwhile how’s about abirdigloo for the resident penguins?
As part of Well Good Arts Week the abirdabode big bird box landed at Gallery Oldham to give everyone chance to decorate an Art Bird.
People flocked to the big abirdabode and we were very busy all day with visitors of all ages decorating a multitude of Art Birds. A grand total of 142 Art Birds were created in a huge variety of dazzling designs from vibrant visions in spectacular colours to realistic Robins and Bluetits.
Every Art Bird created will be on display as part of the abirdabode exhibition and the Art Bird Flock is certainly going to look fantastic. Kettle (the Oldham Otter) was amazed (and very jealous of the Art Birds’ colourful plumage!).
Our second visit to the brilliant Barrier Breakers and it was time to get painting, once we’d finished construction of the nest boxes that is…
Building the roofs for the diamond shaped boxes was made easier by using a specially constructed roof jig to hold the pieces at the required 90degrees whilst screwing them together and once the final pieces of the boxes were fixed and all the roofs completed painting began.
Base coats where swiftly applied in a multitude of colours and then planning for details and top coats was made whilst the paint dried. Everyone enjoyed choosing colours and planning the look of their nest boxes; Nathan and (Hi) Lee are working in collaboration to produce rival Man Utd & Man City bird boxes so painted a base coat of green to be detailed as a football pitch next week. Leah also chose a green base for her Rugby Team theme, Kyle and Michael chose light blue as a sky effect and Sophie went for a lovely rich lion golden brown.
We were also thrilled to welcome new Barrier Breaker Katie to the project and she proved a dab hand at bird box making and in no time had her nest box ready for her beautiful love birds theme design.
Some of the group will be cutting out 3D elements to enhance their designs so there was also scroll saw and band saw training to take part in! Kash took over as official group photographer for the night and took some great pictures (as well as a few selfies!).
All in all it was a very busy session but once again the group all worked together brilliantly (especially Nathan and Lewis who took on wandering assistants roles and helped everyone finish their making) and achieved a tremendous amount and had a great and really creative time.