Allegra Biggs Dale - Parrot Fashion

Allegra Biggs Dale
Parrot Fashion
40 x 40cm

Allegra Biggs Dale - Artist Statement

Upon arriving on alonnahlunawanna Bruny Island First Nations Country in 1991, I knew I belonged. My connection was instant for I’d found the home, I’d been dreaming of my entire life. Growing up in Southeast Asian jungles, my play was interacting with what I encountered with an intent focus on their intricacy. The pleasure provided by attention to finer details of nature would become further intensified by discovering the array of lutruwita-Tasmania minutia. Terrestrial orchids and birds were abundant and strongly appealed to my imagination given their delicate and evocative design. My first encounter with Swift Parrots was a splash of chaotic colour. Three dozen, seemingly frantic avian were haggling over nesting hollows in senesced trees, or was it my arrival that created such cacophony? Transfixed in that moment, I understood there was a purpose for this meeting. Years later we were contacted by ANU PhD candidate Dejan Stojanovic who had been searching for a property on Bruny Island to commence research on the breeding biology of this species.

Participating in Dejan’s fieldwork provided a deeper connection and understanding of species extinction and their protection. ‘Parrot Fashion' is macro imagery of the Swift Parrot’s fragile feathers, a visual reminder that we are losing species to extinction, whilst knowing that our Earth’s biodiversity is vital to our very existence.

This work was submitted by the artist as part of Wild Island's Threatened Species Project 2023. One third of the proceeds will go to Tasmanian Orchid Conservation & Research Program and the Swift Parrot Surveying & Monitoring Program (in conjunction with BBF, TWS and GRANT) and will continue to support Friends of The Orford Bird Sancturary.

In 2022 these organisations were Friends of The Orford Bird Sanctuary and the Miena Cider Gum Recovery Program.

Threatened Species Project, 3rd October - 5th November 2023

There are 683 species of plants and animals, including insects and other invertebrates, on Tasmania's Threatened Species List. Yes, there are the iconic ones so many people know about, but there are numerous species that are tiny, little known or ‘less attractive’, which are no less important to our rich and varied eco-system. This new exhibition will expand our understanding of the range & diversity of threatened species and educate of their plight. It also aims to raise much needed funds to go towards their support.

It’s a small thing we can do during an age of climate change, mass species decline and habitat loss.


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