Alina Bliumis, Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control, 2016-2017, Series of 43 works, wood, etched copper plate, patina, oil based ink, sizes vary, unique. 

AMATEUR BIRD WATCHING AT PASSPORT CONTROL

Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control focuses on the birds which are featured on passport covers from countries around the world. From eagles to doves, from Albania to Tonga, this series explores the intersection of nation and nature.

Birds are often one part of a national system of hereditary symbols, or a coat of arms, and appear debossed in metallic gold on passport covers. I spotted 50 birds or bird-related creatures on 43 passport covers.

For the series, I isolated each bird from its national symbolic context and drew it true to the source, with a focus on the species’ characteristics: the famous one-legged pose of a flamingo (Bahamas), a vulture in a gliding flight (Mali), an extinct flightless dodo (Mauritius) and a part woman and part bird mythological creature, Harpy (Liechtenstein).

Some birds were easy to identify, some required research using various birding resources, debate with friends and experts. Each bird was drawn on a copper plate, etched, patinated and mounted on a wood panel.

Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control 2016-2017 is comprised of 43 works, wood, etched copper plate, patina, oil based ink, sizes varies. Each unique and generally organized in five groups: Birds of North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.