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Birds of a Feather

At: The Priory steps
By: Sandy Gardner
Credits: Printing.com Lancaster
Creative Team: Sandy Gardner (Artwork), Guy Morris (Photographer of installation)


We, as humans, have long since been fascinated by birds. Their capacity for flight, song and navigation, their beautiful colours and different behaviours have made them powerful symbols for many cultures.

For millennia, global folklore, myth and religions have described gods, goddesses, angels, deities and superheroes that fly into the skies with wings of their own or with the ease of a bird.

Historically birds have been used as seasonal clocks and calendars, guided us to new lands and served as air bound messengers.

Ourselves and birds live on varied terrains in every climate. Osprey, Peregrine Falcon and Barn Owls populate every continent. These raptors can fly great distances, meaning almost no land is too remote for them to reach. In varied environments, like man, these three birds form strong pair bonds, put down roots and raise families together.

Rock Pigeons and House sparrows flock together in great numbers in urban and rural areas all over the globe in the same way that we come together and build communities.

Akin to people, birds travel long distances, crossing many international borders and entering different political areas.

At first glance, ‘Birds of a Feather’ is perceived as a fun & memorable “selfie with wings” style picture.

By donning the pair of wings, taking photographs and sharing these images on worldwide accessible social media, each individual becomes a part of the global flock, a symbol of unity.

The artwork creates opportunities to make connections between bird migration and adaption to new environments, to human immigration and adaption to new cultures.

Through discussion and shared story, “Birds of a Feather” can be used as a tool to unite broad audiences both on site and beyond.