#daddyasbirds is a series of small gouache studies and oil paintings which evolved out of a year of grief for artist Anna Farago and her daughter Cleo. Adrian Miles, Anna’s husband and Cleo’s Dad, died suddenly whilst riding his bike near Kinglake in early 2018. Adrian loved Australian nature and soon after his death, Anna began to connect with Adrian’s spirit through encounters with his favourite local birds. Cleo pointed out a raucous family of sulphur crested cockatoos at his burial in Eltham Cemetery, a pair of rainbow lorikeets added flashes of colour and joy in the family garden during late summer in Montmorency, and a wedgetailed eagle swooped and landed on the road in Kangaroo Ground, holding up a car Anna was travelling in.
Throughout the year Anna posted anecdotes and progress on the gouache studies on instagram using hashtag #daddyasbirds, sharing memories of Adrian and the serendipity of bird sightings. The posts reveal a journey of loss and healing through the act of painting. The oil paintings extend the imagery from the gouache studies into a collection of colourful, flighty and varied works which hint at both deep grief and small joys.
Adrian’s colleagues in the Critical Intimacies group, within the non/fictionLab in RMIT University’s School of Media and Communication, have contributed support to #daddyasbirds. They have collated video footage shot by Adrian on various research field trips.
The exhibition marks a year since Adrian’s passing. An opening celebration will be held on Sunday 10 February from 2pm – 4pm. A book #daddyasbirds will be launched and Adrian’s favourite ANZAC biscuits will be served with Cheezels, Cleo’s selection of party food.
Long Gallery, February 7 - March 3
Exhibition Opening: Sunday February 10, 2pm - 4pm.
Please RSVP to email@example.com or on (03) 9439 7712.
Light refreshments provided. Drinks available at bar prices.