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The Black Finch Project. Artists send dead finch art to politicians to protest Adani

The Black Finch Project. Artists send dead finch art to politicians to protest Adani

Melbourne artist, writer and reluctant onliner, Charlotte Watson started a campaign on the day the Qld government approved Adani's Black Throated Finch protected Plan

With around 1500 Black Throated Finches left in the wild and 1,000 of them directly in Adani's path, she proposed to fellow artists that they send 1,000 black finch drawings, sculptures and artworks to politicians. Something that made known the plight of the Black Finch more personal for a politician.

The instruction was: No text, No slogans, No message of rage. Just dead finches. 

Charlotte's call to action generated as many bird artworks as there are Black Finches alive, with the initial tally at 1411 artworks in total. Artists and would be artists have continued the work after the initial campaign closed and Charlotte personally knows of around 1450 artworks now made, but is sure there are many more. She encourages everyone to keep on going with the campaign, but simply asks that you observe the campaign rules when you send in your bird: No text, No slogans, No message of rage. Just dead finches.  And don't forget to share your work on social media, including who you sent it to.

The ABC and Junkee recorded a number of the politician's responses to the artworks, and they are worth a read. Here is some of what the artists themselves had to say on social media. The artist's words tell their own story. 

Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael

"The critically endangered Black-throated Finch can only be found in Qld. It is estimated that in recent decades its range has contracted by about 80 per cent due to land clearing. Approximately 1500 of these birds remain in the wild and the largest population lives in the Galilee Basin where the Adani coal mine is to be developed. This innocent little bird does not stand a chance if the mine goes ahead as their habitat will be decimated. Tragically, this is just one of hundreds of thousands of species facing extinction all over the world. 

My dead finch (main pic) lies on top of the classic environmental book The End of Nature by Bill McKibben. He argues that the survival of the planet is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature. Thirty years ago the book was criticised as being alarmist – but is now proving to be prophetic. 

The 1000 finches project embodies our collective grief that yet another species faces extinction due to corporate greed. We need to save the natural world from those profiting from its destruction. 

I will be sending my painting off this weekend to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley. And I will be sending more. We will not be silent." 

Melissa Hartley

"With the proposal of the Adani Coal Mine this extremely precious bird is under threat. There are currently only 1500 in the wild. My little Black Throated Finch painting will be one of so many amazing artworks being created and posted to Australian politicians who are directly involved in signing off the mine.

This tiny creature is just one of many facing extinction, a symbol of a far greater tragedy that is taking place globally."

Julian Aubrey Smith

"There are approximately 1500 black-throated finches left in the wild, with the largest population directly on the site of the proposed Adani Carmichael mine. In order to get approval for the mine from the Queensland government, Adani had to prove that it had a conservation management plan for the finch population.

This plan has been strongly condemned by scientists and conservation groups, and ecologists have warned that it could drive the finch to the point of extinction. Yet again politicians are giving way to corporate bullying, and another species could be lost because we weren't watching. This tiny creature is just one of many, a symbol of a far greater tragedy occuring globally."

Lyn Fairlie | Spray Paint Art Australia

"My contribution to #blackfinchproject #1000finches @cwatson_studio started this #peacefulprotest aiming to have artists send 1000 artworks to politicians in protest of the proposed adani coal mine. The black throated finch is close to extinction with only small populations still in the wild. A colony of 1000 finches lives on the site of the proposed mine site. #stopadanicoalmine #stopadanimovement #stopadani

Not spray, nor a style with which I’m comfortable, but I thought it important to contribute."

Bridget Farmer Printmaker

"I’ve finally got round to making a new mobile design spurred on by the I’ll be sending a number of these to the Queensland government in response to their Adani coal mine deal. I will also soon have them for sale and donating $5 from each one to save this (yet another) endangered bird."

#blackfinchproject #1000finches #blackthroatedfinch

You can find the 1411 pieces of artist's Black Finch work, their voices and who they sent their artwork to by searching social media for these hash tags. A number of the artists are also selling works to support both this project and others. 

Images: Artist's own
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