This is a stunning body of work from Warren Viscoe called 'Pages from the Book of Bird Song'.
The work is inspired by native bird song, as the title suggests, and
incorporates musical notations of the songs of kokako, kea, tui among
others. These are drawn from the work of Scandinavian naturalist and
scholar Johannes Carl Andersen who translated and recorded New Zealand
native bird calls and published them in 1926 as well as musical
compositions influenced by bird song written by contemporary New
Zealand composer's Peter Willis and Eve de Castro Robinson.
All the works are made of wood from demolition kauri to macrocarpa and
privet. Viscoe professes to having a lifelong love affair with wood
saying 'Well, I married wood, really...'. The size and colour of each
piece lend the work a certain degree of gravitas which contrasts with
the delicacy of the musical notations marking their surface.
Some works are quintessential Viscoe, with broad shouldered
figures with expressive faces transformed from the inanimate wood into
character-full beings. Others are more fantasy-like; large tomes that
would sit comfortably on a wizards' bookshelf with speech bubbles of
song jutting out as book marks.
After a career spanning over four decades Warren Viscoes' love
of his medium and the forests in which it grows, filled with the sound
of these bird's calls, is palpable.