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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Mythologies exhibition at the Haunch of Venison

Posted by Alix on 21 April 2009

I swung by this exhibition the other week – it’s  a huge, diverse and interesting show, which I heartily recommend. It’s only on until the 25th of this month. There were a number of pieces relevant to this blog, including some excellent taxidermied pieces by Polly Morgan, my favourite being Carrion Call –  a coffin embellished with quail chicks peeping from holes in the wood, it’s funny, cute and disturbing. I know taxidermied birds aren’t to everyone’s taste, but I rather like them (I would have included a photo here but annoying Flash websites have prevented me from doing so).


Posted in Artists, Culture | 1 Comment »

Zoologisk Museum Copenhagen

Posted by Alix on 6 April 2009

I went to Copenhagen in February and whilst there visited the Zoologisk Museum, which is part of the University. This is generally a really awesome place – chock full of taxidermied beasties, and good old fashioned displays, which for a museum typography and design fiend like myself was lovely. My timing was good, as they had an exhibition about feathers on when I visited, which was basically a large hall full of stuffed birds, including a very impressive piece where 7 or so stuffed swans were arranged to look like they were swooping down the hall to land. It’s tricky to explain this one well! Here’s some photos:


See all my Copenhagen birdy photos here.

Posted in Culture | 1 Comment »

Winging It

Posted by Alix on 24 February 2009

Nice piece in the Guardian a little while back about bird motifs in interior design, and a gallery to tempt the birdy shopper . I am totally on trend with regard to this, possibly the first time I have ever been in such a position. Birds are in. You heard it here first, ok?


Posted in Culture | 1 Comment »

King of the Budgerigars

Posted by Alix on 6 September 2008

Geoff Capes likes budgerigars. In fact it’s more than ‘likes’ – he’s  just been elected President of the Budgerigar Society of Great Britain. (via MailOnline).

Posted in Culture | 2 Comments »

Birdy Sign

Posted by Alix on 22 March 2008

Birdy Sign, originally uploaded by Rob Brennan.


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Tunnock’s Owls

Posted by Alix on 18 March 2008

Via I like – Tunnock’s fill me with joy in pretty much every way, and their window display at their Tea Rooms in Uddingston appear to not disappoint…look, a tea cake OWL:


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Fascination with nature exhib at the British Museum

Posted by Alix on 28 January 2008

The Fascination with nature exhibition at the British Museum sounds like it could be worth a look. It’s on until August, and deals with Chinese depictions of nature in art, including, of course, birds.

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Chatter and Flee

Posted by Alix on 3 August 2007


(image from Classic Nature Prints) .

Normally one for laughing in the face of superstition I still search for a second magpie when I see a solitary one, count flocks to see what they mean, have been known to salute them, and (weirdest of all for atheist me) to draw a cross using my foot on the ground. The Christian prejudice derives from the notion that magpies turned up to the crucifixion wearing white instead of black. A lesson for us all there; pay attention to the dress code. Like many superstitions there’s no consensus, magpies are lucky in China, inspirational in Korea and evil in Scotland. Apparently the ‘mag’ part of the name means ‘chatters’ (or at least it did in the 16th century). It’s suggested that you should salute a solitary magpie because they mate for life, so a solitary magpie is one who’s lost their mate, therefore you should express sorrow for it. The ‘sorrow’ is the magpie’s, and not the spotter’s. I much prefer this idea!

The counting rhymes vary, my favourite is:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy.
Five for rich, six for poor,
Seven for a bitch, eight for a whore,
Nine for a burying, ten for a dance,
Eleven for England, twelve for France.

Also mentioned on that site are the rhymes for warding off bad luck, personally, this one has never failed me:

Magpie, magpie, chatter and flee,
Turn up thy tail and good luck fall me.

The picture is from The Love Life of Birds by Axel Amuchastegui, which I believe is from 1952.

Posted in Culture | 2 Comments »