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Make graceful and lasting change

Convergence of Birds: Altered

Cindy Tonkin - September 7, 2012

Nicola gave me this book because it had photos of Joseph Cornell Birds in it. The fiction and poetry wasn’t that great. but the picture of the birds were – for example the left hand page below.  

So i glued a lot of pages together. Cut some out. Made some bird-holes through the pages. Added bits of things.

Here’s one of the original Cornell birds on the left hand page below.

The red heart was on some flowers sent to me by a client.

The table of distances was from an NRMA road map my parents bought the year we went to Queensland for holidays (1974) and my dad decided we should move to Tweed Heads. It was the same year he was finally diagnosed with angina, and they told him he’d need a triple bypass. My mum always says it was the first time he’d actually taken a holiday. Usually holidays were working holidays, where we as a family went to some place out in Western NSW and he sold door-to-door all day every day. We played in a motel pool in Coonamble or Moree.

The left hand bird above is a Cornell box. The one on the right is cut from a Taking Shape carry bag.

Some of the birds I added were from the World Book Encyclopedia like the one above on the RHS.

That’s actually a photo of me on the RHS above: My friend Graham Byrnes took it in the early nineties when I first moved into my house in Newtown.

There’s the taking shape bag again on the LHS below.

I cut holes so you could see bird through them. Some of the birds I pasted in were from the multitude of National Geographics people have given me since I did my first exhibition. That first exhibition (called “Patchwork and Stories”) featured a dozen or so big panel pieces made entirely from collaged rocks and sand from National Geographics. I still have hundreds of magazines left!

Train tickets featured in my works for a while (I just feel bad about throwing away nice pieces of card). Here’s one. Here’s another.

Yes, that’s my hand holding the book open with a skewer. Photographing artworks is always tricky. This was done all on a sunny day in the backyard a few years ago!

That’s the original cover page. And I added in my name.

I’m not sure how the hairbrush links in, but i just like it. Some pages I coloured with coloured pencil.

Earlier in the book I wasn’t sure what the theme was, so the circular / dovecote theme which ended up being part of it is only here a little as i experiment with different things.

I inked in the missing tree for this little woodpecker in the snow.

The right hand bird above is cut from a ploughed field photographed in National Geographic.

The hair cutting scissors work with the brush from earlier!

I think the pompons turn this woman into a little bit of a bird. Worked with the cockatoo’s comb in the Cornell original on the left hand side.

I’m guessing that this book was done in 2011 or 2012. So I’m putting it in 2012

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