Talking Points: Inspired by Birds

A collection of imagery and sources designed to encourage children to consider how artists are inspired by birds.

Please note that this page contains links to external websites and has videos from external websites embedded. At the time of creating, AccessArt checked all links to ensure content is appropriate for teachers to access. However external websites and videos are updated and that is beyond our control. 

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ages 5-8
ages 9-11
ages 11-14

Ernst Haekel

Trochilidae–Kolibris from Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Trochilidae–Kolibris from Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel. Original from Library of Congress. Ernst Haekel was a was a German zoologist, naturalist, eugenicist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist and artist. Wiki

Questions to Ask Children

Describe what you see.

Look at the artwork as a whole – which words would you use to describe the whole piece?

Tell me about the details you like.

What do you think the artist is trying to say with this artwork?

How does it make you feel?

Hoang Tien Quyet

Hoàng Tiến Quyết
Hoang Tien Quyet Origami artist, Vietnam

Hoang Tien Quyet, Origami artist, Vietnam. Hoang uses wet paper to make his origami creations. See his work at https://htquyet.origami.vn/tagged/designs

Questions to Ask Children

What do you think the sculptures by Hoang are made out of ?

How do you think he made them?

How do you think he decides how much detail to include or leave out?

How do they make you feel?

What do you think the artist is trying to say with this artwork?

John James Audubon

John James Audubon was an American self-trained artist, naturalist, and ornithologist. His combined interests in art and ornithology turned into a plan to make a complete pictorial record of all the bird species of North America. Wiki

Pied oyster-catcher from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon

Pied oyster-catcher from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon, etched by William Home Lizars. Original from University of Pittsburg. 

Fulmar Petrel from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon

Fulmar Petrel from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon, etched by William Home Lizars. Original from University of Pittsburg.

Snow Goose from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon

Snow Goose from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon, etched by William Home Lizars. Original from University of Pittsburg.

Questions to Ask Children

Describe what you see.

Look at the artwork as a whole – which words would you use to describe the whole piece?

Tell me about the details you like.

What materials has the artist used?

What do you think the artist is trying to say with this artwork? 

Can you describe the nature/personality of the bird? Why do you think that? How has the artist made you think that? 

Pejac

Camoflage by Pejac. Silvestre Santiago, better known as Pejac, is a Spanish painter and street artist. He was born in 1977 in Santander, Cantabria, Spain. He studied Fine Arts in Salamanca and then Barcelona. In 2001, Santiago continued his studies in Italy at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano. Today the artist lives in Santander.

Inspired by the work of Belgium Surrealist Rene Magritte, Pejac plays with the idea of negative space in this installation piece. Explore images of the piece via the My Modern Met article

Questions to Ask Children

What do you see?

What has the artist done in this piece?

How does this piece of art make you feel?

What do you think the artist is trying to say?

Dusciana Bravura

Dusciana Bravura is an Italian Sculptor and Interior Designer. 

Dusciana makes beautiful birds out of beads. See her work at www.duscianabravura.com/en/sculptures

Questions to Ask Children

What words would you use to describe these sculptures?

Can you imagine how Dusciana makes her work?

How do they make you feel? 

What do you think the artist is trying to say?

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