Perdita Phillips, Thea Costantino and Simon Griffith: The Estrildid Orchestra

Perdita Phillips, Thea Costantino and Simon Griffith are currently planning to collaborate on a small tome, The Estrildid Orchestra. Thea has written a creative short story in response to Perdy’s images. Associate Professor Simon Griffith rounds out the book by writing on the scientific importance and ramifications of the complete gene sequencing the zebra finch.

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

The Estrildid Orchestra

For many years Perdy have been taking ‘guerrilla’ photographs of museum and art gallery displays — using available lighting and working low-tech/handheld without a tripod. She has 15 images of a display of finches that particularly intrigued her, because they are arranged on small stands in an array like an orchestra, making their silence as stuffed animals even more affecting. In the past Phillips have written about how our relationship with animals represents the chageable boundary between nature and culture (e.g. cane toads) and how animal identities are generated through both scientific representations and society. Thea was attracted to the project after already recalling having written a short story about collecting, whose atmosphere was suggestive of the photographic images.

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

Bio Statements:

Perdita Phillips is a contemporary artist who works with the nonhuman world exploring the shifting border zones and accidental beauty found between humans and their environments. Committed to a resensitisation to ecological processes Perdy’s media include photography, sound and installation. Her practice often revolves around science as practised in the field and drawing out ‘conversations’ with the nonhuman. She aims in her work to expand the boundaries of what it means to ‘think like an ecosystem’: enlarging the nature of an artwork to include processes, interactions and connections, aspiring to problematise, revitalise and evolve understandings of places and environments. Recent exhibitions include group shows CLIP Award 2011 (PCP, 2010), Melbourne 2010: How Can a Network….? (South Project, West Wing, Melbourne), Home Open (2010-11) and Yellow vest syndrome (2009) at the Fremantle Arts Centre and the In Vetland residency/solo show at the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University (2009).  www.perditaphillips.com

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

Thea Costantino holds a PhD from Curtin University and has shown work at galleries including John Curtin Gallery, RMIT Gallery, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts and PICA. She has written a work of music theatre, Heart of Gold, composed by Ash Gibson Greig, which was nominated for Best New Play in the Perth Theatre Trust Equity Awards. Heart of Gold, which developed through a collaboration with Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont, was produced by Hold Your Horses in 2009 at PICA performance space and was directed by Zoe Pepper. Thea is represented by Galerie Düsseldorf and works in the School of Art and Design at Curtin University.

Simon Griffith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, where he leads a team of researchers who are passionate about birds and conduct research aimed at understanding how evolution works. Simon started his career working on Sparrows, Flycatchers, and Tits while based at the Universities of Leicester, Uppsala (Sweden) and Oxford. Since his move to Australia in 2003, he has focused on some of Australia’s most iconic birds such as the Zebra Finch and the endangered Gouldian Finch. As well as using these species to understand fundamental questions about evolution and ecology he hopes that his work will help us to better manage and protect vulnerable avian species.

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

The Estrildid Orchestra (series) 2010 Perdita Phillips

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