A Family Affair – Willy Wagtail and the pendant
$95 – $5,000
Willy Wagtail and the Pendant – An indigenous expression Willy Wagtail artisan pendant
For interested buyers, don’t hesitate to ask at this link for a “First in first serve” acquisition of the framed original or 1 of 25 limited edition acrylic enhanced reproductions.
I discovered this Willy Wagtail nest in my sister’s back yard at Jurien Bay, West Australia. The thrill immediately transfixed many images of family dynamics and wordless wonder at Willy Wagtail skills in nest building. Their skills were beyond comprehension and my words cannot do justice to what I was experiencing.
This painting is a heartfelt reflection of that moment converging with my naive attempts (a white fellas interpretation), at the beauty of Indigenous Australian storytelling within dot painting.
The metaphor in the family
I am talking here of the family of a man from the metaphor in the Willy Wagtail.
The family (nest/home/nurture) is the most important element in the human experience to nurture and prepare offspring for life. What parents feed/teach and model their bloodline will improve or degrade life in our limited time on earth.
For example, you may teach your offspring to be bitter, unforgiving, greedy, selfish, prejudicially pride-filled, thieves and sexual perverse or kind, merciful, wise, forgiving, productive, selfless contributors to all the good in mankind.
God-loving children are the best because they will discern evil, avoid it and stand against injustice knowing evil without constraint will ruin what is good about mankind.
Feed your children the right thought processes, the right food for good maintenance of bodies and minds, the right attitude toward the creator of all families and the next generation will know good from evil to fill the earth with great wonder and experiences.
Within the family, sharing the spoken word around a dinner table filled with wisdom, love, and peace, directs the siblings to carry the colors of joy as an antidote to destructive darkness in life that destroys what God made to be good.
This painting is embedded with these sentiments to inspire the beauty of a DNA that sheds light in dark places where 2 cultures may shed love, understanding, joy, and peace in how God created it to be rather than hatred and prejudice.
The Willy Wagtail
Willy Wagtails are much like an oversized, noisier, black-and-white version of their closely related New Zealand Fantails. Like the fantail, the Willy Wagtail wags its tail from side-to-side, flushing out insects for food.
It has a prominent white eyebrow which varies in size and conspicuousness depending on the bird’s emotional state, sex or status.
Like other fantails, it has prominent whiskers which protect the bird’s eyes from flying insects. The whiskers also provide information about potential prey location. As Willie Wagtails spend much time feeding on the ground, they have longer and stronger legs than other fantails.
The song, often heard at night, is variously transcribed as a sweet pretty creature or pretty little creature. There are also rattling and territorial chittering calls.
Distribution and habitat
Willie Wagtails are widespread in Australia. Some parts of the population are migratory whilst others are sedentary. Willie Wagtail is mainly a bird of open habitats and has adapted very successfully to human-altered environments such as gardens, parks and golf courses. Favored habitats are, water-courses, wetlands and other areas close to water. In the early 1920s, Willie Wagtails were introduced to Hawaii for insect control, but the venture was unsuccessful, and the population had died out by the late 1930s.
Behavior and ecology
Fearless and aggressive, the willie wagtail will take on kookaburras, ravens, magpies and even birds as large as the wedge-tailed eagle to protect its territory. Humans, domestic cats and dogs, and even snake-necked tortoises and tiger snakes can also expect to feel the wrath of the agitated willie wagtail.
They use livestock both as mobile perches from which to conduct aerial forays and as plows disturbing food as the cattle or sheep walks along. In winter they may congregate in flocks, but most are seen in pairs or singly.
Willy Wagtails line their cup nests with fibrous material, spider-webs and occasionally with animal hair such as cat, dog, goat, and alpaca.
Willy Wagtails feed almost exclusively on insect invertebrates but have been recorded eating seeds, bread and biscuit crumbs, and goldfish. They are active and restless, feeders, mainly taking place on the ground but will catch insects in flight, from foliage, tree-trunks, and branches.
Like New Zealand fantails, the Willy Wagtail conducts food forays by flitting out and back from a perch. The wagging tail and wing movements flush out the prey.
With so many diverse Australian Aboriginal languages, and no linguistic continuity across the continent, there has been little enthusiasm to adopt Aboriginal names as the standard English name for many bird species (exceptions to this include kookaburra, budgerigar, brolga, and galah). Instead, early explorers likened many birds seen in new territories to familiar birds from their homeland. So, small red-breasted birds in Australia became Robins although unrelated to the European Robin that spawned the comparison.
In the late 1970s, an attempt to provide nomenclatural consistency throughout the world was suggested by some members of the ornithological community. The proposed renaming, Willy Wagtail as Willy Fantail never caught on, so wagtail remains.
With a clean slate, the Willy Wagtail could be called djidi-djidi (pronounced chitty-chitty), or the true wagtails could be called bobtails!
Realism meets Dreamtime
My chosen discipline is photorealism and metaphor bordering surrealism with a twist of humor. I love the vibrant and simple color rendering in Aboriginal art and chose to combine both mediums to see if I could build bridges of understanding between our common ancestry and storytelling. One God, one mankind, different coats of paint and cultural diversity under heaven.
My use of the artisans’ pendant
It’s hard to write in words of understanding. The gift of our creative spirits imagination can manufacture a story from anything we see. In this case, a pendant is the herald of an imagined indigenous narrative.
Beyond culture, skin color, religion and politics, the heart of life where creative expression has pure motives you will discover the story as a metaphor in the art on the pendant.
An inquisitive heart in a family meeting. A nest, a bedroom, food around a table, the younger seeking wisdom and council around a jewel of great price in an elders’ knowledge. That is one of heavens gifts and revelations adding purpose, perpetuity and belonging to the discoverer’s heart.
If the knowledge discovered is true the mystery brings with it the peace of God, beyond understanding, and adding to its rest. Mysteries are revealed echoing contentment in man’s creative enterprise.
I choose the pendant to represent the family story because pendants hang over the hearts of the owner. In this case the imaged story gathering around a jewel of value, wisdom in council for new life seekers in family inheritance.
Embedded in wise family council (if it’s wise) is the manufactures promises of freedom and peace. Discovering that jewel adds new dimensions of wonder and glory. The U in Aboriginal language symbolizes a person. The smaller U is a child. The dotted lines are journey tracks from experience to experience or family group to family group in their bloodline.
The indigenous influence art disclaimer
My attempt to paint, study and replicate indigenous art is at its best, nieve. In the best way, I know there is no way I would knowingly *disrespect a people group I dearly love and these are my best attempts to date.
I study, at my own pace and these studies unmask a deeper honor toward these dear marginalized people. That sentiment is embedded in my borrowing of their creative intelligence to partner with my western cultured photorealism painting.
As an Australian citizen, I am honored indigenous peoples give me much pleasure in their interpretive storytelling and dot painting. Paralleled alongside the rhythmic sounds of their music, didgeridoos, knocking sticks, dance, and song makers these gifted people are part of my inheritance.
I have a lot to discover as I embed what I learn crossing the bridge of understanding from my culture into indigenous culture.
My Godly inheritance and * disclaimer
Part of my Godly inheritance inspires me to look forward to experiencing their offerings in heaven. There is no fear, hatred, prejudice or offenses there to darken what God created to be good in all cultures, including what we call indigenous culture.
* Some have claimed I have no place using Aboriginal influences in my art because it is disrespectful to the sacredness of their culture and yet I consider my art just as sacred because I have as much freedom as my brothers and sisters, to explore all wonders in the world of art and freedom of expression. I choose to honor them incorporating their beautiful art disciplines with mine while giving glory to God for our diversity. It is my opinion we should be celebrating one another’s storytelling and diversity seeking truthfully to love one another. Racial arrogance and one-upmanship help no one – no matter what color of skin!
STATUS and MATERIALS
ORIGINAL FOR SALE * Bid or tender for the original framed (508mm x 508mm x 50mm) artwork. All offers considered around $5,000
Painted with professional oils, on gesso primed long life linen canvas with gloss dammar protection.
* Originals and Limited Edition reproductions are supplied with Provenance, coded Authentication of Sale Certificate and maintenance/care information.
25 LIMITED EDITIONS “ACRYLIC ENHANCED” CANVAS REPRODUCTIONS – 24 of 25 left
Please ask about the price and sizes.
75 LIMITED EDITIONS CANVAS REPRODUCTIONS *
Unframed sizes | 960 x short side – $1150| 650 x short side – $925
Printed on long-life archival canvas and protected with two coats of UV archival spray.
* Stretch mounted reproductions will incur added charges for mounting and freight.
OPEN EDITION POSTER ART PRINTS *
Unframed sizes | 594 x short side – $145 | 420 x short side – $95
* Posters printed on fine art papers and treated with two coats of UV archival protection spray.
FASHION and PRODUCTS
- Includes insurance and package/handling fees.
- The Original and Limited Edition reproductions ship with the Provenance coded Authentication of Sale Certificate and maintenance information.
- Poster art prints ship in insured tubes.