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The Visitor – Magpie


Near Neighbours

This series of woodblock prints focus on four species introduced to New Zealand from Australia that have since thrived and become an integral part of the make-up of the urban, rural and wildness environments of New Zealand. These introductions either intentional or by accident have unfortunately often been to the detriment of the native flora and fauna. They are all now considered pest species due to their remarkable adaption and proliferation. I have given some of the subjects a small form of identity tag, reflecting the close links of Australia and New Zealand, and the integrated nature of our histories, heritage, alliances, economic ties and blood lines.

The Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen was introduced to New Zealand in the 1860s to control pasture pests. It has since become naturalised and is found in our garden, along with a huge variety of beautiful Australian plants. Magpies reduce the number of native birds in an area due to their territorial antics and often raid native birds’ nests for eggs and nestlings.