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Guyup-Guyup: Scores for Eight Songbirds (2019)

as part of Translating Ambiance a research project organised and curated by Jordan Lacey with Philip Samartzis at Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Abbotsford, Melbourne. Artists include Polly Stanton/Byron Dean, Camilla Hannan, Bruce Mowson, Martin Kay, Michael Graeve, Andrew Goodman, Jordan Lacey/remi freer, Catherine Clover

My work is an installation that comprises eight text scores that are a site specific response to the songbirds local to the gallery environs, four of whom are native and four of whom were introduced to Australia in the late 1800s. The project considers the sonic and vocal meeting point of the birds via their songs. The scores incorporate a number of Woi wurrung words. Woi wurrung is the language of the traditional owners of this part of what is now known as Melbourne, the Wurundjeri people. Translations kindly provided by Wurundjeri Elder Auntie Gail Smith.

Opening night performance Thurs 5 Sept with Roseanne Bartley, Merryn Byrne, Kiri Wickes and Melanie Richard


The content of this installation is extended in an article titled Untie the Tongue in Translating Ambiance edited by Jordan Lacey, Unlikely Journal for Creative Arts Issue 06, Australia


Guyup-Guyup is the Woi wurrung word for 'bird'

Four Native Songbirds

Barrawarn (Australian Magpie)
Name no longer known in Woi wurrung (Little Raven)
Dit-Dit (Magpie-Lark)
Yan-Guk (Red Wattlebird)

Four Introduced Songbirds
Common Blackbird (arr 1860)       
House Sparrow (arr 1862)       
Common Starling (arr Melbourne 1857, Sydney 1877)     
Common Myna (arr 1863-1872)



    The Opening Performance with Roseanne Bartley, Merryn Byrne, Kiri Wickes and Melanie Richard  
    Image Credit Sue Pyke  
    Image Credit Sue Pyke  
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Corvus corvix, Corvus corvix, Corvus corvix, Corvus albicollis,