Cockatoos Celebrated at National Film and Sound Archive

‘Temple’ is an immersive and reflective audiovisual installation celebrating Australia’s native bird, the cockatoo. Artist Leila Jeffreys who is known for her bird portraits and video work has collaborated with film maker Melvin J. Montalban on this special, expressive and idiosyncratic piece which is set to inspire wonder and delight.

Set across a triptych of larger than life screens and accompanied by a shallow pool of water the moving images depict Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Galahs and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.

The installation as the gallery says ‘evoking the beauty of natural waterways and presenting a space of quiet contemplation.’ Although this sounds very serene the NFSA also describe the audiovisual experience as true to the lively character of our feathered friends; ‘Cockatoos fly in hypnotic loops, appearing and disappearing out of the frame in a reminder of seasons and cycles. They bathe and flap their wings, sending droplets into the space around them, dreamily falling and colliding in slow motion.’

The intention behind ‘Temple’ is that it will serve as a ‘a temple to nature with the power to immerse us in the present moment.’ The art work riffs on the idea that in history people have made pilgrimages to temples, to stand before an alter while also taking in the majesty of nature that is an inherent part of that journey and destination. Moreover, we know people also rejoice in the splendour of nature itself. The artists and gallery hope that Temple becomes a space that stirs the human spirit, allowing the viewer to enter a contemplative state.

Perhaps it’s your own inner journey that this artwork enables, or maybe, like Jeffreys the combination of subject, light, movement and natural elements give you pause for environmental concern and the profound refuge nature provides in a frantic world.

Open 5 April to 30 June in the Gallery at NFSA Acton.