Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts


Courtyard Project Spaces A & B

Sean Harris: Conference of the birds • The voice of the Curlew

19 November 2022 – 26 February 2023

Residency project
Curlew • Great Auk

Throughout history people have come together to honour the land through the making and sharing of beautiful objects. Through his residency Sean Harris aspires to do the same, taking animation as tool and two iconic bird species as lens: the curlew and the great auk.

Sean writes…
We are nature. If it withers, so do we. it will always strike back. None of us, no matter how affluent, can be insulated from its power. Can we continue as we have, chipping away extractively with ever-increasing pace at ‘natural resources’? No. We cannot survive alone as a species. Can we adapt? The curlew, crashing towards extinction – and predicted to disappear from Wales within a decade – asks us this question with urgency. It is the herald of our own future demise via a known mechanism which the tale of the great auk brings into sharp focus. Can we answer the curlew’s call? Of course we can. We are clever. There are many stories of hope, of the good things we do, of the positive difference we make when we choose to.

Just as in stop-frame animation, it is myriad small actions which bring and maintain life. And, as both the great auk and curlew show us, our actions as individuals have far-reaching consequences.

‘Animals are good to think (with)’.  Claude Lévi-Strauss.