Magpie Standoff

Magpie 2 Magpies are ubiquitous native Australian birds with a glorious warble but rather loud and assertive behaviour in relation to other magpie clans and to people.

Magpie mothers teach their young to find food on the ground and it is common to see family groups pecking through paddocks. They have preferred areas and at times groups collide.

A Middle Walk visitor saw some maggies in Triangle paddock, “you need to do something with Magpies” she said.

In this comic-form piece, two Magpie sets meet and stand-off across a lush spot. Nine wine bottles are painted in the white markings of two of the many types found in Eastern Australia.

magpie 1 webThe ‘long-whites’ with full length white feathers on their backs and the ‘short blacks’ more common here. Or they could be the Montagues and Capulets for all I know, the hub-bub does sound rather like a combat scene in a Shakespearean drama.

Art and TimeI thought this piece might be part destroyed on the first day-night it was in place by passing animals, mainly kangaroos, or by live Magpies or other birds.

But no, it has held its form for eight weeks now, and no sign of damage — except for the rapidly growing spring grass starting to engulf the land art elements. This land art life!