26 October – 20 November 2023
Where Earth Pierces Sky is a new collection of paintings by Clare Reilly that explore the Southern Alps of the South Island, from the perspective of our native birds that quietly inhabit these often harsh but spectacular environments. Even in the most remote mountainous regions, introduced predators have spread and dominated the landscape and preyed on our most vulnerable bird species.
“We have two true native alpine birds;
The highly intelligent Kea that ranges throughout the Southern Alps. With their visible splashes of underwing colour, raucous calls, playful antics and adaptable curiosity, they can be encountered in a wide variety of alpine environments, where they are able to survive bitter winter conditions on snow covered slopes and subalpine forests.
The Rock Wren, Piwauwau, is a tiny, rarely seen, quiet bird that exists in alpine rock fields, above the tree line. Feeding on insects and berries, they nest in small hollows or cracks in rocks and are therefore very vulnerable to predation.
Other birds that inhabit the mountain forests and lakes depicted in this show are our rare Takahe, Karearea (NZ Falcon), Crested Grebe, Korimako (Bellbirds), Whio (Blue Duck), Tomtit and Tui.
All these birds enrich the experience of being out in our alpine landscapes, vast wild places where majestic towering peaks seemingly pierce the deep azure sky.”
– Clare Reilly