Anna Berger - Azure Kingfisher

Anna Berger
Orange Bellied Parrot
Hand Coloured Linocut
40 x 40cm

Anna Berger - Artist Statement
My art practice is concerned with the 'Collection' of Creatures of Wonder in 'Cabinets of Curiosities'. I am particularly interested in the history of European fascination with collecting new species of Australian fauna and flora, and the specimens collected during the Age of Enlightenment for the purposes of scientific enquiry, classification and conservation. The specimens are housed inside ornate cabinets inspired by European architecture. This shows the displacement  of these creatures that were once alive and thriving in their own environment, but are now caught, classified, and frozen in an animate yet lifeless state. They are far from from home, trapped to serve Europe's ever-expanding scientific knowledge and possession of a complete description of the Natural World.

For this exhibition I have concentrated on depicting threatened birds of Tasmania, in particular the Orange-bellied Parrot and the Azure Kingfisher. I am very aware of the vulnerability of these creatures, and the increasingly threatened state of their existence. The idea that at some point in the future, a cabinet of taxidermy creatures may be all that remains to us of these once thriving species, is an uncomfortable possibility that I wanted to explore in these artworks.

Although our nation has had a history of driving species to extinction, let us hope the 21st century can be one of conservation, protection and harmonious co-existence with nature's threatened diversity.

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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