Artwork of the Week – Alec Finlay


Liverpool artwork of the week 16. Specimen Colony – Grey Heron by Alec Finlay (nest box schema designed by Jo Salter) in ‘Now Then’ at the Bluecoat March 15 – May 4 2008

One of my favourite birds, the Grey Heron, this is one of several nest box schemas you can download from the Bluecoat website.
The Now Then exhibition ends on Sunday May 4, don’t miss it. And don’t miss the real bird boxes high in the trees in the Bluecoat garden which will remain long after the exhibition finishes. Hopefully to be occupied the local wildlife.

You can listen to my podcast interview with the artist on the DefNetMedia podcast site

Specimen Colony by Alec Finlay is a contemplation on migration, dwelling and the hybrid nature of contemporary cities. It centres on 34 brightly painted nest boxes presented in the gallery and outdoors in the trees of the Bluecoat garden, their designs based on illustrations of birds found on postage stamps.

Opened out, the nest box form suggests the figure of a bird in flight. These colourful and abstract flat schematics are exhibited alongside the nest boxes in the gallery, together with drawings where Finlay has carefully inked in bird shapes on stamps. A specially produced publication by Liverpool University Press contains other ideas related to Specimen Colony, including poems, collages, drawings, photographs and even a DIY cut-out version of the nest box form.