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  • Kathryn Lewis Artist

Menindee Lakes - Birds

Updated: Jan 13

Hi, I am an artist from Western NSW (now Kangaroo Island), I am concerned with how the environment is coping out here and have decided to draw from environments such as Menindee Lakes, which are or will be threatened by cotton and other non sustainable environments.

The drawings are for sale, make an offer from $5.00 and up (postage not included) I use Clairfontaine mat,Stonehedge or Bristol paper and put my heart into these creatures with no rights of their own. Most of my birds are from photos I have taken or from fellow photographers.

THIS IS DAY 1 Jan 23, 2019, a small curlew from the Menindee Lakes.

Here is a map of the area. I live along the Lachlan, which is at 40 percent. You can see the Darling to the west coming down through the Paroo and Warrego River to the Menindee Lakes. All of these rivers eventually flow into the Murray River. It is in the green and grey zone I will be looking at and drawing the birds, one a day.

Day 2 and 3- Plumed Whistling Duck -(Dendrocygna eytoni)

Coloured pencil takes a lot longer because of the layering, lots of layers and more can be done. These little beauties love floodplain and wetland areas. The feathers are so unique. They are more numerous for wetland birds and love to hang out with their cousins the Wandering Whistling Ducks.

Day 4 - Australian Pelicans Pelecanus conspicillatus

There are two varieties of Pelicans, but this one is around the Menindee Lakes, Macquarie Marshes and my backyard of the farm in Burcher where I live. Every 10 years or so, we get a major flood such as 2016 and the swamp out back, which covers a fair size is covered in Pelicans. I started my journey here in 2016 and watched and photographed this beautiful almost prehistoric bird.

As the swamp receded, I watched them take off over the house as if to say good bye for now. Their formation was stunning to watch.

Pelicans are an indicator of floods which have good river flow (Kingsford, 1999).

This is my submission to the Sulman Art Prize at the NSW Art Gallery. It may not make sense to most, but it depicts the displacement or dying out of species of birds, especially the migratory birds of Menindee Lakes. The yellow denotes the invasion of cotton. You can go to the Cotton Australia website and look at how much cotton these is around areas of regional NSW. While it is a desert crop, the amount of water needed to harvest a cotton crop is considerable as the crops are massive. The cotton growers also harvest the water during times of flood, when the flood waters are needed to flush out the ecosystem. Government, especially Liberals are pointing to drought. We all no it is not the only cause.

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