Wanda Michalak “Living with Birds” 1.06 – 6.07.2013

June 1, 2013 1:46 pm Published by
Blaton & Rypson, Anthropologists in Art, are proud to present:

Living with Birds
Wanda Michalak

at WM Gallery, Elandsgracht 35, Amsterdam
From June 1st through July 6th 2013

Opening: Saturday June 1st, 17.00-19.00 p.m.

When Wanda Michalak moved to 54 Birkalla Street in Brisbane, Australia; two black & white birds hopped onto the balustrade of her first-storey terrace. It was to be the start of a three-year long relationship between photographer and resident Australian magpies.

As Michalak says:
“Living with Birds” is about friends that I made with Australian Magpies. Three years ago we arrived in Brisbane in our new, temporary house and were greeted by 2 black and white birds. Over the last 3 years the birds were my constant companions from ( very early ) morning to dusk….. I gave them water and treats….. they, in return gave me the opportunity to look closely into their life, to meet their babies, to have a glimpse into their complicated social structure…… they are beautiful birds, very curious and smart and very funny! Sadly we’ve moved house and they stay at theirs… Am going to miss them dearly.
The show is dedicated to Mom, Dad, Bibi and Baby Junior, ‘my’ Magpies.”

Invite by: Lesley Moore

Wanda Michalak, Living with Birds
Michalak is undeniably a remarkably gifted photographer. The (semi-)portraits of ‘her’ magpies are superbly composed, expertly executed and painstakingly edited.

Even more interesting is perhaps her own personal relationship with these Antipodean birds. Throughout the series permeates a carefully developed bond and emotional investment that hints at a deeper element in this relationship between human and avian. All cultures have brought forth stories and myths, passed on from generation to generation, that deal with animals and their particular behavioural characteristics. More often than not, these myths imbue human emotions, intelligence and reasoning into the animals, as an exemplification of a human moral dilemma.

In their Dreaming, the Adnyamathanha Aboriginals recall the story of Urrakurli, Wakarla and Wildu (the magpie, the crow and the eagle). The story recounts how the magpie and the crow were originally white-feathered but, as punishment for their cheekiness and lack of respect, were burned by their uncle, the eagle. The main gist of the story is naturally not the outward appearance of the two birds, but the instilment of respect to one’s elders.

Living with Birds is an intriguing venture into the world between photographer and the magpies she befriended.

Wanda Michalak, Living with Birds

Wanda Michalak, Living with Birds
Wanda Michalak:
I was born in Poland.
Early childhood spent in the fumes of photo chemicals which probably influenced the choice of my future profession. But not straight away. It took years of growing up, finishing various schools, moving out of Poland, arriving in Amsterdam, moving out to the Cook Islands then New Zealand to find out that photography was the thing.I followed a course of photography in Auckland’s Carrington Polytechnic which was fun. Having finished that, ended up back in Amsterdam. Taught photography in Amsterdam and in Warsaw. Gave work-shops as far as Brazil.www.wandamichalak.com

Magpies – illustration


Logo Gallery WM Gallery WM, Elandsgracht 35, 1016 TN Amsterdam
tel: 020-4211113, email: gallery@gallerywm.com
Website: www.gallerywm.com
Open donderdag tot en met zaterdag, 1e zondag vd maand 14-18 uur