OVERWINTERING was on show at Wyndham Art Gallery from 8 November – 31 December 2018.

OVERWINTERING is a major project conceived and developed by Kate Gorringe-Smith. Before we consider the artwork that has been lovingly created to contribute to this exhibition we must first acknowledge the commitment of Kate and the hard work that this commitment has entailed.

Kate is an accomplished artist in her own right, however her concern for the future of migratory shore birds and for the environment more generally has compelled her to forgo the desire to promote her individual work and spend her creative hours sharing her compassion for these remarkable and tiny birds with other artists in order to awaken the world to their plight.

The variety of work created for this exhibition is remarkable as is the numbers of artist participating.

From the alluring sounds created by Byron Scullion to the sensitive marks of Suzanna Newton in Traveller, we are given an insight into the world of the migratory shorebird. The sheer mass of works is a reminder of the flock of tiny birds that when as individuals they come together in a group, become a larger entity. The walls of the gallery a metaphor for the sky and the artworks the small beating wings of each tiny bird as they lift off on their long and tremulous journey north from the safety of the Western Treatment Plant here in Werribee.

Each artist has thought carefully on their subject and the value of having a constant size and shape in each artwork, as well as the universal topic being represented, is that the viewer can witness the huge variety of perspectives that each artist brings to their work. Some have reflected the habitat, some the journey taken and many the birds themselves, and then the sound of birds which becomes almost sculptural, shaping the viewer as they move through the space.

OVERWINTERING was shown both here in Wyndham and in Tasmania, stretching across Bass Strait in an art ark. Congratulations to Kate for her vision and to all the artists who came together to share their concern for these vulnerable species.