1 Nov 2011

Gone, but not forgotten

By Jim Lawrence

Ghosts of Gone Birds - an unprecedented exhibition of original art, writing and music opens today in the East End of London. Among more than 120 artists producing new work for this innovative show are Sir Peter Blake, Ralph Steadman, Margaret Atwood, Desmond Morris, Jamie Hewlett, Rob Ryan, Kai & Sunny, Charming Baker, Polly Morgan, Marcus Coates and Billy Childish. Each artist has been invited to choose an extinct bird and breath life back into it through their creativity. The result is an extraordinary living body of work that celebrates the spirits of those species now lost and acts as a powerful 'call to arms' to help raise awareness for the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme and support the BirdLife Partnership in its quest to avoid further extinctions.

Black Mamo - Jack Teagle

  Dr. Marco Lambertini, Chief Executive of BirdLife International, said, “In modern times, species are going extinct at least a thousand times the natural background rate. Many more are so threatened that they are on the verge of disappearing and urgent action is needed. Ghosts of Gone Birds is a provocative new way to reach out and inspire a wide audience about today’s extinction crisis and mobilise action to rescue the species at risk today. There is still hope and the BirdLife Partnership has shown that, with the right resources and targeted action, species can be saved. Perhaps unsurprisingly, better known avian extinctions such as Dodo, Great Auk and Passenger Pigeon feature in several of the artists' work but many lesser known extinct birds, with equally extraordinary back stories, like Stephens Island Wren, Laughing Owl and Lord Howe Gerygone are also remembered.

Mauritius Blue Pigeon - Esther Tyson

Ghosts of Gone Birds opens to the public on November 2nd at The Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES and runs until November 23rd. For full details of opening times, various daily events and a preview of more of the extraordinary art see www.ghostsofgonebirds.com. Facebook friends can join the Ghosts of Gone Birds creative army for conservation at www.facebook.com/ghostsofgonebirds. Ghosts of Gone Birds has been developed and is being staged by two BirdLife Species Champions - Ceri Levy - an acclaimed documentary film maker and Chris Aldhous- Creative Director of London Advertising Agency - GOOD PILOT. Ghosts of Gone Birds is a selling gallery and proceeds from sales of the original artworks and various limited editions will benefit The BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme. If you or your company would like to support the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme please contact species.champions@birdlife.org