Early Birds— an Installation

April 28, 2016 -

An exciting installation lands at the American Museum in Britain this weekend— a flock of early birds, swooping over our beautiful lawns.

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We set artists the challenge of coming up with an outdoor piece inspired by the theme of ‘early birds’, to celebrate the fact that our gardens and cafe are now open from the earlier time of 10.30am. Local artists Emily Hunter, Carl Godfrey, and David Gordon came up with a design based on the Harlequin Duck, a species native to North America that migrates in spring from coastlines to inland areas.

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A wooden decoy duck from the Museum’s collections

The artists have made fifty ducks (to echo the fifty stars on the American flag), from light-weight wood. These will be hand-stained and then mounted on poles of varying heights, to echo the shape of a migratory flock. Inspiration has also been drawn from the charming decoy ducks found in our folk art collection.

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The birds’ bodies and wings have have been laser cut as separate pieces.

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The pieces are then joined together to form an elegant bird in flight:

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We’ve also taken over the window of the tourist information centre in Bath with a display of swooping birds:

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The artists will be installing the piece on Friday 29 April, and it will be on display until 9 May. We hope you’ll come up and enjoy it! Visitors who Tweet or Facebook a picture of the installation with the hashtag #earlybirds, remembering to tag us, will be entered into a competition to win a year’s Maple Membership.

If you don’t manage to catch the installation remember— you can now be an early bird all year round and enjoy the American Museum cafe and gardens from 10.30am.