THE coronavirus pandemic may have put a firm brake on international travel for many people, but it has had no effect on the flights of migratory birds.
The birds continued their annual hazardous 25,000 kilometre round trips from the northern to the southern hemisphere.
Western Port and Port Phillip bays are the favoured destinations for many species and more than 300 artists have contributed to an exhibition that highlights the tenuous existence faced by these intrepid international travellers.
A family day was held at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington last weekend for World Migratory Bird Day and The Overwintering Project-Westernport exhibition which, co-curated by artist Kate Gorringe-Smith.
The MPRG is a fitting place for the exhibition (which ends Sunday 23 May) as it sits between Port Phillip and Western Port bays, which both include important locations on the world map of bird migrations.
The Overwintering Project is a long-term environmental art project that sees artists around Australia uniting to raise awareness for the most endangered group of birds, migratory shorebirds.
Migratory shorebirds spend the summer on Australian beaches before heading north, some as far as the Arctic, to breed.
The exhibition at the MPRG focusses on Western Port and features works by 17 artists in a variety of media. The works are being shown in conjunction with the Overwintering Project Print Portfolio, a growing collection of more than 300 original prints made by artists from Australia and New Zealand in response to the unique nature of their local migratory shorebird habitat.
The exhibition was also being shown at the same time that power company AGL was refused permission on environmental grounds to moor a floating gas import terminal at Crib Point.
Gorringe-Smith said the local community had been “delighted” when Western Port’s internationally recognised shorebird habitat “won a recent reprieve from AGL’s proposed development”.
The Overwintering Project-Westernport ends Sunday 23 May at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington. Call 5950 1580.