Disfigured Paradise ZOOX (Georgina Brinkman & Alex Wight)

  Culture at Work  5 June - 6 July 2015

 Disfigured Paradise ZOOX (Georgina Brinkman & Alex Wight)

  Culture at Work  5 June - 6 July 2015

Georgina Brinkman and Alex Wight are a multi-disciplinary artist duo interested in the lasting impacts of British colonialism on the environment; particularly focusing on the devastating extinction rates of endemic avian populations on Norfolk Island. Presenting images and documentation from their travels throughout Norfolk Island, 'Disfigured Paradise' transforms the gallery space into an immersive, interactive playground where they invite visitors to consider and confront the implicit impact we each have on the natural environment.

The world’s last Norfolk Island Kaka died in 1851. It didn’t die on Norfolk Island, or even Australia, but in London in a cage. It was thousands of miles from its natural habitat and before it died noone recorded its birdsong. Not one living person has ever heard this bird’s voice. And it is not alon The presence of the Polynesian rat, banana trees and archeological remains indicate an early Polynesian settlement (between 1400 and 1500). But by the time Cook and the First Fleet arrived on Norfolk Island there was no indigenous population, making it ideal for settlement, but leaving the unique ecosystem open to exploitation.

 

There were three separate British settlements on the island:

1788-1814 Penal Colony 1825-1855

Penal Colony and 1856 - Now

Pitcairn Island settlement.

 

Each of these three settlements ultimately had devastating consequences on the natural habitat of the island. Locals, officials, organisations and volunteers are working in Norfolk Island to protect the endemic Green Parrot and ensure its future. One of these members is Lius Oritz-Catedral who was commissioned by the Nature Wildlife Conservancy, Birdlife Australia and Island Conservation to conduct a survey on the numbers of the Green Parrot in 2013. At the time he recorded 46-92 individuals, only 12 of which were female. He states that the Green Parrot is “an iconic endemic species treasured by the inhabitants of Norfolk Island- for me it is also a symbol of hope.”

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