Map showing Greer Twiss: Flight Trainer for Albatross

This was the first work commissioned by the Auckland City Sculpture Trust and it carries a message of global significance. It is informed by conservation issues, particularly the protection of our marine environment and birdlife. Every year, untold numbers of birds are killed or maimed through trawling and netting at sea. Many birds not killed outright sustain damage to their wings which cripples them or kills them indirectly by preventing them from searching for food.

The artist Greer Twiss is suggesting that humankind redress these wrongs and has designed a device to support injured birds. He has strapped three young birds on the framework, elevated and with wings extended, in an attempt to teach them how to fly again. The birds face out to sea where they belong. On the ladder on the ground, the fourth bird is learning to walk again.

As well as being a storyteller and conservationist, Greer Twiss is interested in the techniques, materials and process of making art. Looking up at this sculpture, the underbelly reveals rough welds and scoring of the surface. In creating a surface such as this, the artist wants to expose the technique and remind us of the physicality of the process. Greer Twiss has devoted his life to working and teaching sculpture in New Zealand. He has taught and mentored many of our finest sculptors.

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