Thursday, 13 October 2011

Watch the birdie


Bird prints, bird ceramics, bird fabric, bird lights, even wooden birds on stilts that live in my flowerbeds... I have them all, and more in my house. I have a bit of a thing about birds. 
So I couldn't help be drawn to the bird illustrations of Paul Farrell, above and directly below – named (who knew?) "Flight of Swallows" and "Parcel of Oystercatchers" respectively. (And if you're dying to know the collective nouns to describe other groups of birds... this will tell you.) I heard about Paul via Pedlars, who were at one point selling a lovely garden birds chart by him in their shop. The silkscreen prints – each a limited edition of 30 – measure 320mm wide by 210mm high and cost £55 each, unframed.

While I'm in the bird zone, here are some more feathered friends I've found and loved...

1. Birdpaper print (top), by Paris-based American artist, Matthew Rose at the Keep Calm Gallery, £48 unframed (40cm x 30cm). But what exactly is it? "Rare species of Nepalese birds pause in a forest of antique French wallpaper," explains the artist. He's currently creating a version of the print that can be bought in sections and hung like wallpaper. Find out more at the Keep Calm Gallery

2. Hummingbird cushion covers (middle left), by RVA Pillow Works on Etsy, around £16 ($25) for two. These come as a pair for this price, or you can buy them individually for, uh-huh, exactly half. Postage is about eight quid. Check out RVA's other hand-drawn designs too.

3. Bird print (middle, right), by Bark Design on Etsy,  around £9.50 ($15) or around £22 ($35) for a set of three. Postage is from around £3. I've already featured some beautiful alphabet prints from this environmentally aware company – see what else they do.

4. Festive foil-pressed gift tags, by Lucky Bird at Bouf, £6.95. These gift tags are almost too good to tie onto presents – so make sure you give them to someone who'll keep and appreciate theirs. They'd look sweet on an office pinboard, don't you think? I don't reckon, despite the name, they're uniquely festive either – an all-round set of birds! These come in packs of ten, with five different designs. And do check out Lucky Bird's own website, they do lots of other lovely illustrated stuff too.

Luke Stephenson's Showbirds And for something a bit different. I know I've mentioned Luke Stephenson's colour-drenched photographs of showbirds before, on the Facebook page, but they are too gorgeous not to give more space to. This image (above) is part of Stephenson's Incomplete Dictionary of Showbirds collection, and you can buy a print from £400 plus Vat via the Photographers' Gallery (and do check out the brilliant interest-free loans from Own Art to make payment less painful).

Paul Greenleaf's pigeons Differenter still, this isn't anything you can buy. But I came across this weird and oddly compelling project, part of an exhibition a couple of years back, by the photographer Paul Greenleaf and just had to share. It's called DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS and comprises a series of photographs of pigeons, digitally removed from their habitat and then returned to their natural environment – such as the streets of Shoreditch. Aren't they fantastic and funny?

Greenleaf also has a collection of equally urban-centric technicolour images, called Here Today, very much in the vein of John Hinde, who regular readers will know is another of my obsessions. Might have to get hold of some of those images for a future post.

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