Fiona Hall: Fly Away Home
Young visitor enjoying ‘Fly Away Home’
View of ‘Fly Away Home’
21 April - 7 October 2012
Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
As part of 'Contemporary Australia: Women', the Gallery presented 'Fly Away Home', a large-scale art work for children and families by leading Australian artist Fiona Hall, developed in collaboration with the Children's Art Centre.
'Fly Away Home' opened up young imaginations to the wonders of the world inhabited by both humans and birds, while also introducing important issues of our time – human migration and the need to protect the environment. Fiona Hall invited children to explore these ideas from a bird's perspective as they make a bird and nest using paper money she had especially developed for 'Fly Away Home'.
Many of Fiona's works feature real banknotes. For her art work Tender 2003–06, in the Gallery's Collection, Fiona shredded thousands of US one dollar bills and wove the shreds into birds' nests, each resembling that of a different bird species. For this art work, Fiona created the nests out of actual money to suggest that people's interest in making money as a way of improving their lifestyle can negatively impact – even destroy – natural habitats.
For 'Fly Away Home', she had designed paper money that children could use to make their own bird species. Some of the banknotes feature migratory birds. People often migrate for similar reasons to birds – they make new homes where the weather is warmer, perhaps in a place with the right environment for raising a family. Fiona says,
There are parallels between humans and birds. Both groups of 'animals' – after all, that is what humans are! – display migratory behaviour: a number of bird species are seasonal migrants and humans have, since earliest times, been on the move. I've heard that some species adapt or change over time to live in an environment that suits their needs. Perhaps we humans are similar – searching for some part of the world where we can make a home and feel secure.
Fiona encouraged 'Fly Away Home' visitors to consider their own experience – and the experiences of their friends and families – of moving away and starting over in a new location.
'Fly Away Home' was first commissioned by the Children's Art Centre for '21st Century: Art in the First Decade' 2010 and supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.