Europe and Central Asia
19 May 2011

Art v Extinction - Ghosts of Gone Birds

By Jim Lawrence

The first in a series of innovative arts events in support of the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme has launched in Liverpool, UK City of Culture. The exhibition called Ghosts of Gone Birds presents a unique collection of originally commissioned artworks, literature and music from some of the UK's leading contemporary artists, writers and performers including - Ralph Steadman, Sir Peter Blake, Rob Ryan, Billy Childish, Desmond Morris, Pete Fowler, Charming Baker, Jamie Hewlett, Kai and Sunny, Rebecca Jewell, Bruce Pearson, Olly and Suzi, Robert Gillmor, Dafila Scott and Jimi Goodwin.

Pallas's Cormorant - Ralph Steadman

Each artist has been invited to breathe life back into an extinct bird species of their choice through their creativity. Their depiction of the species acts both as a memorial to the bird lost and as ‘a call to arms’ to help those species that now face extinction and require urgent conservation action today. Funds raised from sales of the art and donations from visitors to the exhibition will support BirdLife's work preventing extinctions. The event opening at the Liverpool School of Art & Design today is benefitting BirdLife International and their UK Partner - RSPB - and features pieces created by students and teachers from the school alongside the established artists work. Ghosts of Gone Birds was conceived and is being jointly run by acclaimed documentary film-maker/art collector Ceri Levy and award-winning creative director Chris Aldhous of ideas agency GOODPILOT. "With Ghosts of Gone Birds we are 'mobilising a creative army for conservation' via a series of multimedia exhibitions, celebrating the diversity of species lost and those now on the edge of extinction thru paintings & sculpture, talks & poetry, installations & live music." said Ceri Levy. Following the event in Liverpool, other Ghosts events will take place in the UK at the Port Eliot Festival (Cornwall) in July, at Birdfair in August and will then culminate in a three week exhibition at the Rochelle School in London in early November. Following these events in the UK the plan is to take the Ghosts of Gone Birds initiative to other countries with participating national BirdLife Partners. For more information and to see some of the artwork that is on display see You can hear more about the project in a Talking Naturally interview with Ceri Levy here.    

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