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The Overwintering Project in Jervis Bay

May 21, 2020

Migratory shorebirds connect the world. Every year they migrate from the shores of Australia and New Zealand to their breeding grounds above the Arctic Circle in Siberia and Alaska. The remarkable annual circuit that they fly is called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and it passes through 23 countries. The pathways of their migrations bind skies, land and sea into a meaningful whole. Their journeys connect us through time and space, as they have been flying between the poles for more years than humans have walked the earth.

Video of exhibition installed at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum with commentary by exhibition coordinator, Kate Gorringe-Smith

The Overwintering Project: Mapping Sanctuary is an ongoing environmental art project designed to bring visibility to Australia’s most endangered group of birds - migratory shorebirds - and their habitat. 210 artists from Australia and New Zealand have joined forces to shed light on these amazing but elusive birds through a range of print artworks, now on show at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum & Gallery.

These birds challenge our notions of what is precious – they are small, their plumage is modest, they do not sing and their habitat is often unremarkable, but they fly unimaginable distances. Their biology is so finely tuned that they can fly eight days and nights without stopping to eat or drink and can navigate featureless oceans to find the same tiny stretch of beach, and return to it, year after year.

But time is running out. Migratory shorebirds are our most endangered, and possibly least known, group of birds. The Overwintering Project: Mapping Sanctuary seeks to raise awareness for our migratory shorebirds and their habitat by inviting artists to help make them visible.

Original artworks from this exhibition are for sale online. Proceeds from the sale of these prints go to the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and to BirdLife Australia’s migratory shorebird research and conservation projects.

The Overwintering Project is on show at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum & Gallery, Woollamia Rd, Huskisson from 14th March – 27th July 2020. The Museum is temporarily closed in line with NSW Government Covid19 Guidelines.

For more information about The Overwintering Project and how artists can be involved visit:

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