Point of Departure, 1996 - 2011

Mixed Media installation
: steel, 338 bird’s nests, papier-mâché, wildflowers, cardboard, barn-wood, wood, glue, dye, shells and paint.

Dimensions: Table: 24 x 118 x 46 in, Boxes: variable (approximately 26 x 93 x 60 in.)

Throughout the winter months over a period of ten years I collected a variety of abandoned bird's nests found in sloughs, riverbanks and the woodland of rural Alberta.   When I displayed these nests for close examination I saw possibilities of how they could be used metaphorically to address issues of spreading urbanization into the agricultural land in the area where I live in southwest Edmonton.  Preservation of farmland and growing urbanization is a global concern and I have become very aware of these changes to my own environment and almost everywhere I travel. Food supply is threatened and the plants, birds and animals of each of the newly assimilated sub-divisions are endangered.

Although the nests are clearly a collection and recognizable as prairie based, I wanted to overlay the association of the geography in which I spent my formative years. I was able to combine memories of growing up and exploring seashore tidal pools in Australia with my present day existence in the flat lands of Alberta. The table combines a representation of the birds of Alberta and the tidal pools of my youth.

The second component is used to suggest an aerial view of urbanized sprawl as it continually replaces active farmland. The small forms nestled into the repetitive boxes, symbolize the containment and constraint of human existence within this urban environment. Our disregard for the natural world is monumental.

Lyndal Osborne

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