Murray and Burgess: Lost Song

3 December 2022 – 29 January 2023

Lost Song is a visual interpretation of the song of the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera Phrygia) by Blue Mountains artists Ro Murray and Mandy Burgess.

In association with Birdlife Australia, Taronga Zoo and Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, Murray and Burgess investigate aspects of the Regent Honeyeater’s song, habitat, and culture to highlight the plight of the bird’s survival and the fight to prevent its extinction.

Once widespread in large numbers from South Australia to Central Queensland, the population of the Regent Honeyeater has plummeted to an estimated three hundred individuals in a space of fifty years, bringing it to the verge of extinction. Land clearing and bushfires have affected its habitat, and predators and seasons of no blossom limit their chances of survival. Now there are not enough mature male birds to teach the young males the mating song necessary to attract a mate and to continue the species.  Many now imitate the call of other birds, and its own song has become simplified and abbreviated.

The exhibition incorporates sculptural installation, wall drawing and a commissioned sound work by Felicity Wilcox titled Call, And?… (a) Response.

A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program exhibition

Call and Response is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.
Murray and Burgess would like to acknowledge the assistance of Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, Taronga Zoo and BirdLife Australia in the development of this exhibition.

Image: MURRAY AND BURGESS Lost Song (detail) 2022, digital print, 63 cm x 12 cm. Courtesy the artists.