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The Jabiru Series

U-City Artist Studios, Pitt Street, Adelaide
SALA, August 2023

Coinciding with the Creative Development of Kirsty's performance Bodiness: hands like wings, The Jabiru Series contemplates ideas of freedom and being trapped. 


The Jabiru is a very beautiful and powerful bird with a wingspan up to 2.8m. Kirsty met one at the zoo recently. She was admiring the shiny blue, green and purple taffeta of its iridescent black neck feathers when he looked directly at her. His big black eye met hers and she was immediately transfixed. She returned, visiting him in his tiny cage over the next few months, thinking about captivity, dependence and being trapped.


Birds are an enduring metaphor for liberation and hope. In this work, and in hands like wings, Kirsty is interested in exploring the ideas of freedom within confinement and working within the limitations of her power wheelchair.


Bodiness: hands like wings Creative Development Stages 2&3 with Kirsty Martinsen, Erwin Maas, James Dodd, Sue Grey-Gardner and Sam Roberts, supported by Arts SA, began in June 2023 and included a Free-range Residency at The Mill (June), Vital Statistix (July) and an Work-in-progress performance at POP Gallery (September).

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