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Birdbrain - Dislocation is a Place

Shaun Tan - Diver
Birdbrain- Dislocation is a Place
Stu Bridson - Shelving unit number two
Sylvia Sinel - Same Inside
Carole Driver - Phytos
16 May 2016 to 15 Jul 2016
16 May to 15 July, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Birdbrain - Dislocation is a Place. An exhibition featuring Stuart Bridson, Carole Driver, Sylvia Sinel and Shaun Tan. Curated by Sybille Schlumbom
Event type: 
Calder & Lawson Gallery, University of Waikato
Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Knighton Road, Hillcrest, Waikato 3216


‘Birdbrain’ explores the possibility to find belonging in transit.

Birdbrain is a negative term, associated with a short attention span, lack of focus and general simple mindedness, all characteristics easily presumed in those whose speech, looks and way of thinking differs from the familiar.

But birds have the ability to create, to use tools, to communicate – often so different that we lack the paradigm to measure their intelligence, or the consideration to accept it.

This exhibition brings together four artists that traverse with ease between cultural, geographical and emotional territories:

Stuart Bridson (NZ)

Stuart resides in Raglan in a house filled with his sculptures and paintings, surrounded by objects, textures and structures that are easily identified as the source of inspiration for his art.

Carole Driver (UK, Canada, AUS)

Carole is a global nomad whose journey has taken her from the UK to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Sylvia Sinel (Sweden)

Swedish born Sylvia settled in Hamilton a few years back where she discovered the use of ceramics for her arts practice.

Shaun Tan (AUS)

Shaun, Melbourne based Australian illustrator of Chinese/British heritage, touches the meaning of ‘belonging’ and ‘dislocation’ in most of his works, e.g. ‘The Arrival’, ‘The Lost Thing’, ‘Tales from outer suburbia’.

Their work reflects a sense of dislocation, but without obvious discomfort- rather with curiosity- using it as a tool that makes a journey possible in any direction.

Curiosity and compassion are the artist’s tools: the curiosity to question intercultural differences and environmental issues; compassion leads to a personal examination in any subject of inquiry.

This seamless roaming between worlds captures the Zeitgeist in these migratory times, where boundaries and borders become increasingly undistinguished and permeable.

German born and New Zealand based curator/artist Sybille Schlumbom a.k.a. billadonna has spent most of her life flying rather than nesting. Her work as a creative professional draws from the excitement to be lost in translation, visuals becoming the natural choice of communication.

Written by

Sybille Schlumbom a.k.a. billadonna

22 Apr 2016

Interests I always wanted to be an alien life form designer.But that is another story and will be told in another time at another place.