Mating Dance by Anna-Wili Highfield is an installation of courtship formations. The sculptures are an homage to the Brolga – Australia’s principal dancing bird. Suspended like marionettes, the birds are sewn from waxed cotton and have stopped mid-ballet. They gesture call, response and mimicry.
Composer and Musician, Bree Van Ryke has created an accompanying sound work. Bree’s piece will intermittently shock the dancing birds, with music inspired by the Brolga’s bold honking. This sacred bird has forever inspired stories and dance from Australia’s First Nations people, who in shared spirit see and feel it.
Highfield’s aim is to engineer a moment of contact with nature, in a way that emphasises similarity of form and consciousness shared by both humans and animals.
Mating Dance is a flirtation with life.