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Art Editorial

confforbirds.jpg Watch (and listen to) the birdies

A new art installation at Cherryburn in Stocksfield is giving you the opportunity to hear what local birds have to say about their lot.

Some of the best, and most through-provoking, art I’ve seen in recent times has been at buildings looked after by the National Trust, and, in particular, those that have been part of the Newcastle University-led research project ‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’. Their latest installation is by Marcus Coates and takes its cue from the ground-breaking engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) who was born at Cherryburn. It celebrates the lives of the birds Bewick depicted in his wood engravings – including cuckoos, herons and great black-backed gulls – and in this audio work we get to hear seven different species discussing their lives with each other. The birds, played by wildlife experts, discuss topics from migration to predation, with each species speaking about the challenges they face day to day. The artwork attempts to reveal how we, when speaking from the position of another animal, like a bird, rely on subjective experience to relate to this alien perspective.

Conference for the Birds, until 3 November, Cherryburn, Station Bank, Mickley Square, Stocksfield, Northumberland. nationaltrust.org.uk/cherryburn