This is what Judi says about her art:
There is something about the tūī that resonates with New Zealanders. Whether it's their colours, their personalities, their vocal gymnastics, their ubiquitousness in many regions (thanks to predator control), tūī capture people's hearts and minds like no other.
As soon as I started creating bird art I was asked "when are you going to do a tūī?" So I turned my attention from my beloved kākā and spent more time searching for magic moments with the best-dressed boys and girls of the NZ forest.
And after many hours watching and photographing them, I came to see so many subtle differences among them. Each lacy nape is like a fingerprint, each poi is a fashion statement - some neat and tidy, some worn more jauntily. And their colours! Not just black and white, but glorious shimmering shades of blue and green, with touches of purple and even gold.
I asked them for their stories. And they answered with dark, gothic tales of loss, defiance, colonisation, foreboding, and reclamation. The tales are still coming, but now is the time to let you in on some of their inner secrets.
Please note that the name overlay on each picture is not on the actual print:
Forever calling me (tūī)
This resplendent tūī is apprehensively pulled towards an uncertain future. 10% of the artist's proceeds goes to Forest & Bird to support their conservation efforts.
Imagine strolling through one of our inner-city parks or greenspaces and coming across a couple of kiwi also out for a midnight stroll. It may seem unlikely, but with our incredible Predator Free neighbourhood groups and Capital Kiwi's efforts, maybe this will soon be a reality? This artwork imagines a not-so-distant future when Nightlife is not all about partying and clubbing but enjoying a city filled with the evening chorus of ruru, kākā, tūī, and kiwi. I can't wait! Can you? 10% of the artist's proceeds goes to Capital Kiwi Trust to support their conservation efforts.
The Sign of the Southern Cross
What are they plotting? An ecstasy of tūī gather under the Southern Cross constellation amidst native bush to plot and plan. Each has their own agenda. Are you worried? 10% of the artist's proceeds goes to Zealandia EcoSanctuary to support their conservation efforts.
From Whence Cometh Evil
Mystical and moody, the tūī embodies an approaching storm. This image explores the impact of colonization and colonialism on NZ wildlife; a cataclysmic storm that is still raging. 10% of the artist's proceeds goes to Zealandia EcoSanctuary to support their conservation efforts.
Sad Wings of Destiny
What does the future hold for our beloved tūī? 10% of the artist's proceeds goes to Zealandia EcoSanctuary to support their conservation efforts.
In a reversal of fortune, this collector of long-lost species has added a new specimen to his collection. 10% of the artist's proceeds goes to Zealandia EcoSanctuary to support their conservation efforts.
Each limited edition 28x28cm print is available on archival fine-art paper for $250 and includes standard shipping. The edition is limited to 10 prints. Other sizes are available from the artist on enquiry.
About the artist:
Judi Lapsley Miller (www.artbyjlm.com) is a New Zealand photo-artist with the natural world as her inspiration. She strives through her art to advocate for our endangered species by exploring themes like the tenacity of life in the face of environmental destruction, what it means to be endangered, and the post-human world. Many of her images are inspired from experiences with volunteering in wildlife conservation projects, where she has had the extraordinary privilege of working with endangered birds. Photography is just the first step in her creative process – she digitally blends and masks layers of photographs, graphics, scanned ephemera and textures, lighting and colour adjustments, and digital brushstrokes to form an image that is more painting than photograph. In her images she exposes her interpretation of the inner world of others – their thoughts and feelings, their hopes and desires – in a form tangible to the human viewer that engenders empathy with other living creatures.
Judi lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She has been a Forest & Bird member for over 15 years.