Bird Child Spirit: myth, imagination and sound in the bush

The artist Peter Mcilwain has created an artwork that highlights through sound, the mythological connections of birds and children, with angels, totems, ghosts and spirits. Across time and culture there are many stories of these spirits visiting us in moments of crisis or great change. Their messages help us find new possibilities and ways of understanding if we choose to listen.

The artwork, Bird Child Spirit, is a sound installation set in a patch of bushland next to Selby Community House. Installations are artworks that are designed for a specific space. The space is used a stage or reference point on which artistic metaphors can be suggested. In Bird Child Spirit, the sounds of children imitating birds are heard at multiple points across the bushland area in the same way birds call across the space of a forest. In this way, children become birds, which become otherworldly beings. It’s cute, funny, a little weird and when the real birds, and the children in the playground next door join in, its a beautiful immersive experience.

The project is supported by the Yarra Ranges Council through the Art Attack program, by the Selby Community House and by the adventurous local children and families who contributed bird sounds to the work. Artwork, programming, sound design and artistic direction by Peter Mcilwain. Bird Child Spirit is running from March 6 to April 19, each day from 9 am to 9 pm, on the Wombalana Track, Selby Community House, Selby.