Margaret Feeney, Bird and Insect Bath, 2022
Hand built ceramic, with underglaze and glaze. 1000 x 520 x 480mm.
Bird and Insect Bath is a study of the garden birdbath that situates the familiar form within a larger conversation about water use, the built environment, and interspecies relationships as part of artist Margaret Feeney’s ongoing project, ‘Water Systems’.
Born from concern about Tāmaki Makaurau’s susceptibility to drought and its impact upon small creatures, the sculpture’s labyrinthine chambers and interconnected basins are designed to collect water and provide shelter for Waiheke’s birds and insects over the hot and dry summer months.
Much of Feeney’s work is conceived to counter the abstract, disembodied systems that mark the contemporary information economy. Using boisterous materials with visual and haptic presence, she looks to bridge the human and organic worlds, make “the case for kindness as the first principle of thought in human invention” and recognise the mauri of big and small entities.