I began drawing and painting the Grey Headed Flying Fox to become familiar with their characteristics, but what I really needed was to see one in 3 dimensions… and this wasn’t so easy. Bev Brown a wild life carer finally came to my rescue, as she has done for hundreds of orphaned and injured bats over the years. I spent an educational and amazing day studying her backyard full of bats. This first close encounter had me hooked, I really had no idea how cute these little critters were until then. I spent the afternoon carving David the juvenile bat out of plasticine while he remained oblivious and sleepy. A cast was made from this ‘statue of David’, which begat all other bat sculptures. The wild life carers are special folks, they give over their time, resources and homes to care for sick and injured animals with very little reward. If you ever meet one give them a pat on the back and say thanks.
The sculptures are made with plaster, mild steel, garbage bags and porters paint. The adornment references the night sky, the stars, the time of the bat. Workshop participants also made contributions to the adornment, which became more decorative and tribal in their hands.
Photographs: © Kathy Holowko.