Stork Sculptures Put Topic of Migration on the Local Map

15 Feb 2018

Published in: The Chamber Patron Group

180209 Stork WebA University of Wolverhampton lecturer is crowdfunding to get a unique art project off the ground to raise awareness of migration and settlement in the UK.

Gavin Rogers, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art in the University of Wolverhampton School of Art, has set up a crowdfunding page to bring a flock of migrant red stork sculptures to the West Midlands.

His idea is based around the migration of storks from the East African Savannah towards Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.

He said:  "Many people across mainland Europe welcome these multi-continental migrants each year as they are the bearers of good luck, life, health and vitality.  Once nested, pairs of storks will return for the same nest every year for the rest of their life.

"Interestingly, storks have not nested in the UK for over 600 years until, in 2014, a pair found their way to Great Yarmouth and they are now starting to settle in the UK in small numbers."

Gavin is offering individuals, venues and businesses across the West Midlands the chance to buy, host or adopt a migrant stork sculpture during Spring 2018, from March to June, for display on buildings or grounds.

Gavin said:  "I am currently working with cultural venues and workplaces across the West Midlands, with some great venues already confirmed from galleries to builders' merchants - all of whom employ migrant European Union workers.  I'm hoping for a really positive response to ensure this project has a good regional impact."

All the money raised will contribute towards the manufacture of the 2D storks and there will be community events, talks and workshops surrounding the project.  The aim of the project is to bring all of the storks together in one place in Spring 2019 to coincide with the UK's exit from the European Union.

"The stork re-appropriated as a silhouette in multiples has the potential to provoke debates and conversations about belonging, nostalgia and migration for both for home and/or migrant citizens," Gavin said. "This is a topic which really resonates in the recent political landscapes."

Anyone interested in studying Fine Art at the Wolverhampton School of Art should visit the next Open Day on Saturday 17th February 2018.

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