This exhibition has finished.
Cost: Free of Charge
A series of X-ray photographs and poetic texts highlighting extinction and the alarming decline in bird species around the world.
The display, Falling Birds, was developed by UK-based artist Helena Hunter during her Artquest Research Residency at the Horniman.
Falling Birds includes artworks that blend larger-than-life X-ray images of extinct and endangered bird specimens from the Horniman’s Natural History collection with fragments of poetic text. These sit alongside taxidermy mounts of birds that Helena worked with during her residency – Passenger Pigeon, Snowy Owl, Kakapo and Huia. X-ray images of the birds are further illuminated on a series of lightboxes as part of the display.
Helena’s work asks us what songs extinct and endangered birds might sing? How might we hear their stories and what their representation in the Museum may hide and reveal? The forensic nature of the artworks make visible internal wire structures inside the taxidermy specimens, which reveal the illusion of the ‘life-like’ birds on display. This alternative view speaks to the process of taxidermy imposed upon the bird by human hands that Helena addresses in her accompanying text.
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