Art and birds – a day at the GOMA

When was the last time you encounted an endangered bird in an art gallery or any live bird for that matter. A recent visit to the Queensland GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) in the Cultural Precinct at Brisbane’s South Bank, we waited in line to go through the hanging lengths of steel making a curtain. Behind the steel curtain were coat hangers, finches and music playing.

From Here to Ear is a musical installation by French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot with live finches. There was a variety of finches, Zebra, black-throated and crimson finches and, the first time I have seen these finches, the endangered Gouldian Finch.

The finches flew about the room and settled on an array of coat hangers and harpsichord strings that tinkled combining the sounds of the finches and the music was activated like the finches own musical instrument.

It was certainly a treat to see the finches, to hear the music and be embraced in the art.

Sitting among the coat hangers.


The Zebra Finches were playing with a strand of grass plucked from the floor.


The most colourful Gouldian Finch.The Gouldian Finch a native of northern Australia used to be counted in the millions. Now there is around 2,500. See more about Gouldian Finches here


The finches didn’t sit still for very long so getting a good photo in the limited time we had inside the room was difficult.


If you get a chance, go to the GOMA as the art on display is incredible. Have a look at what’s on at the GOMA I am sure there would be something that would interest you.

6 thoughts on “Art and birds – a day at the GOMA

  1. Hi Brian. Your comments about and photos of the Gouldian finches really struck a chord with me. My father bred Gouldians up until about 5 years before he died. They are notoriously hard to breed in captivity and despite many frustrations and disappointments he was quite successful giving many away to other breeders looking for different genetics. They are spectacularly beautiful aren’t they! I am shocked to learn how endangered they have become. Thanks for triggering some great memories. Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome Phill. I didn’t know that there was 3 different facial markings either. Always can learn something can’t you. I would still like to see one in the wild.


  2. only 2,500 of the Gouldian…. ulgh. hope that changes.

    and love the hangers and all the design it makes with these feathered friends as the stars.

    oh and we went to a library event once where they had live birds and even though it was for children – I loved it. I also used to teach traveling science workshops and I was trained with an owl, but not my forte. and I passed the torch – or I mean glove…. and let some of the other teachers do the owl…. but it was fun to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

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