Hihi (Stitchbirds) in Kowhai Original

Sam Clark


Ink and Gouache Original work

30x 42 cm unframed

This was my 4th work in my 2015 range exploring the idea of using a single colour to match up native and introduced species that were thrown together during the European colonization of New Zealand. The displacement and chaos that unfolded has had lasting effects on our native flora, fauna and culture, with many New Zealand bird and plant species now living on the edge of existence.  This artwork depicts 3 Native Hihi (Stitchbirds) in a native Kowhai tree with introduced gorse weaving its way up through the tree. 

Gorse was introduced from Europe to create hedgerows, but grew so well in the New Zealand climate it got out of control and now can be seen covering large areas of land and is a huge problem to eradicate.

Stitchbirds were once widespread in New Zealand but are now confined to offshore islands. Because they make their nests in tree cavities they were easy targets for introduced rats.  

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