Margaret Feeney

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.


Lives and works in Auckland and Waikato.

Margaret Feeney holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Victoria University and a Master of Fine Art, RMIT, Melbourne, which she applies to her art practice, and as an arts educator at universities, polytechnics, prisons, and private and community art schools across Aotearoa. Presently she works at Māpura Studios in Auckland, an outsider art studio centred on the voice and the vision of people living with diversity, adversity, and disability.

She has exhibited widely and is presently occupied with two major, ongoing projects. ‘It Started with a Kiss’ looks at the relationship of information space to the material world, and ‘A Black Comedy in Pastels’, a comic and subversive engagement with Anthropocentric values as they determine the design outcomes of the objects we live with.

Represented by Caryl McKirdy of Wellington pop up gallery Visual Culture.

margaretfeeney.blogspot.com   @m._.feeney