I started making these pieces during lockdown.
I wanted to make amulets to attract certain birds/invertebrates/lizards to Rakino Island, an inhabited predator-free island in the Hauraki Gulf where my family has owned a small piece of land for a long time. Rakino is only 40 minutes from Auckland, but lockdown made it impossible for me to get there, and I fretted about my baby trees, imagining the voracious kikuyu grass steadily smothering them..
The amulets were intended as additional insurance, an evocation to enhance the on-going weed-clearing and regenerative planting happening on island.
I made a Kaka's beak, and was astonished when a Kaka parrot arrived in my Auckland backyard instead. He was enchanting, and distracting. I spent hours watching him, recording him, trying to photograph him, obsessively learning about Kaka.
On an absurd whim I volunteered to be campaign manager for Kaka in Forest & Bird's 'Bird of the Year' 2020 contest.
Voting opens on November 2, and runs for two weeks. You can check out my candidate here: