Avian architecture at Northern Lights

Jun 22, 2014
Photo by: Sharon Beals Sharon Beals’ image of the nest of a Pine Siskin is part of the “Intertwined” show opening Final Friday, June 27, at Belfast’s Northern Lights Gallery.

Belfast — “Intertwined: Architecture of the Nest & Ancient Traditions in Weaving” will open with a Final Friday Art Walk reception June 27, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Northern Lights Gallery, 33 Main St.

Northern Lights is pleased to present the work of Sharon Beals, author and photographer of “Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them.” Her Nest Series documents nest and eggs specimens dating from the 1800s to present day from four wonderful science collections. Beals’ images have been published in both science and art publications including Scientific American and American Photo, which named “Nests” one of the nature best photo books of 2011. Beals’ photographs are in many private collections and were purchased by the State Department for embassies. Her prints are collected around the world.

The nest project has been a wonderful journey, said Beals, who hopes that through the nests she can engage people who might never want to learn about birds to share her concern. While many have adapted to, and even benefited from, human manipulations of their habitat, if that habitat is polluted, overrun by feral animals or introduced insects or just gone missing, a whole species can be lost. Beals said she was drawn to photograph a few of these nests, collected long ago, simply for their form or the color of the eggs, only to discover that they had been built by a member of a species now so rare “we cannot be alarmed enough at their endangered status.”

“What has been made so clear to me … [is] that so many of the decisions I make in my own daily life affect their survival. What I plant in my yard, what coffee I buy, what I put down my drain or into the atmosphere, or where I let my dog and cat wander, all of this matters. A lot,” she said.

Throughout the summer, Northern Lights Gallery curator Karen Miles will continue to bring together a collection of fine art created by artists speaking clearly and beautifully about our planet without words. Along with Beal’s nest images, “Intertwined” is a revolving exhibition with works coming and going through out the month by Maine First Nations basket makers; birch bark artists Sierra Henries and Kimberly Callas; and Tim Christensen, offering complex sgrafitto bird and marine life sculpture in porcelain.

The exhibition will run through July 23. Northern Lights Fine Art Gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 338-3088 or email Karen@northernlightsgallery.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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