During the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been widespread re-engagement with nature and, in particular, a notable increase in the public’s appreciation of Britain’s native birds. Fledge: A Year of Birds, a new exhibition due to take place at Contemporary Six Gallery in Manchester (lockdown permitting) and online, explores our rekindled interest in birdlife.

Fledge features the artwork of five artists: Mary Griffiths, Susan Platt, Liam Spencer, Clare Bigger and Ann Lewis. Each of the artists has responded to the birds in their close environments and in Britain’s changing urban areas. Whether the medium is watercolours, oils or steel, birds have proved a welcome escape for this group of artists – as well as a great source of inspiration.

Adam O’Riordan, reader in Contemporary Poetry and Fiction at the Manchester Writing School, and singer-songwriter Guy Garvey, exchanged a series of pen portraits of birds during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. Susan Platt illustrated the birds that informed their writing, and extracts from their ongoing collaboration will accompany the artworks in the show.

Main image: Susan Platt – lockdown birding

The preview weekend (lockdown-permitting) for Fledge: A Year if Birds will take place May 1-2, 2021. 

Please note that timed slots to visit the Gallery will be offered during the preview weekend, to comply with COVID-19 regulations. For more information regarding booking time slots please visit the website. Each of the works in the exhibition will be available for purchase with 10 per cent of proceeds being donated to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, which is committed to providing essential funding to tackle homelessness across the city region.