Australian birds. 2020

OPIE, Julian

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OPIE, Julian


Australian birds.

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29 x double sided LED screens

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Installation view of Julian Opie’s work Australian birds 2020 at NGV International, Melbourne. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria and the City of Melbourne
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
© the artist. Photo: Tobias Titz


Julian Opie, Australian birds., 2020


Located on the western median strip on St Kilda Road between Alexandra Avenue and Southbank Boulevard, Australian birds. is Opie’s largest LED based public artwork to date. 'Australian birds.' was inspired by Opie’s father’s stories of growing up in Australia, as well as the artist’s own experiences of spotting native birds on his travels around Australia. For this work pigeons, gulls, ducks, swamp hens, herons and ibis were filmed in Melbourne before being drawn in the artist’s signature style and then animated. Unperturbed by the passing traffic, they graze on the nature strips along St Kilda Road, comfortable in their casual ownership of the street. Opie observes: 'Many birds share our living space but, thanks to flight, are largely free to ignore us. It seems to me that animals are generally underrated and ignored in such a terrible way – in life and art.’