An exhibition by artist Debbie Symons.

Sing comprises of ten handwoven pendant nests containing mini speakers playing pre-recorded bird songs suspended from a tree canopy. Sing is an immersive and poetic work reflective of delicate and intricate natural connections found in remaining ‘wild’ environments. It is a major new work created in response to Symon’s 2018 Labverde residency in Manaus, State of Amazonia, Brazil. During the residency, Symons was captivated by the nests of the Yellow-rumped Cacique bird. Pendant in shape and made from pliable materials such as grasses and plant fibres, this nest form is common for many tropical bird species predominantly found in the planet’s equatorial regions. During the last 30 years, many of these regions have witnessed an explosion of deforestation. They are often replaced with rows of oil palm trees, a plant cultivated as an industrial, agricultural crop that today accounts for 10% of permanent global cropland. Sing’s nests are woven from the fronds of the oil palm, a deliberate act to draw attention to the rapid loss of biodiversity so crucial for the continuation of native species. A number of the nests contain a small speaker that emits recordings made during the residency. Emotive and haunting, the bird calls are like a siren song in the dark undergrowth of a forest. Sing seeks to explore emotions of loss and wonder and to encourage reflection on notions of home and what becomes of species when their habitats are forever lost.

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