Black-throated Finch

The Coal Throated Finch, 2014, Rew Hanks, photo courtesy of the artist

The Coal Throated Finch, 2014, Rew Hanks, photo courtesy of the artist

Black-throated Finch
Poem: Black-throated Finch by Brett Dionysius.
Music: Black-throated Finch by Jim Moginie on guitar.
Audio compilation and mixing by Boyd.

Bird Species:  24.
Black-throated Finch
Artist:  Rew Hanks (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
Writer:  Brett Dionysius (Brisbane, Qld, Australia)
Musician:  Jim Moginie (NSW, Australia)

Black-Throated Finch

By the pool, their fingernail-sized gullets undulate briskly
As if they are guilty celebrities scoffing a midnight treat,
Their black cravats panting with excitement. They can’t
Stay in this kitchen heat for long; fluent in the language
Of dehydration, a fast tipple or else they’re dumbstruck.
Their image burned into extinction’s cyclopean retina,
As if this fragile flock gazed into the sun directly, or they
Were a picnic of ants fried by a bully’s magnifying glass.
The dam water is a current running through their bodies;
It sets off the electricity of their flight, as one they scatter
To the air, like a handful of wedding rice. Their fall might
Weigh as much; in the billionaire’s thoughts he’s ripped
Out the earth’s coal-black throat; the box trees cut open
Like rich sediment. Their habitat halved like a seed cake.

Brett Dionysius ©

Black-throated Finch call description supplied to musician Jim Moginie:
Somewhat mournful far-carrying descending ‘peew’; soft ‘beck-beck-beckadeck’. (Pizzey). 

Image resource:  Clive, Gina and one little finch, 7 September 2012, Simon Green, CQ News.

Rew Hanks – Artist Statement
The Coal Throated Finch
Australia’s mining heiress Gina Rinehart sports an ensemble comprising a hardhat, high visibility vest and a strand of pearls. Emblazed across her blouse is the logo of her Indian mining partner GVK who own airports and mines throughout India. In her top pocket Clive Palmer (owner of Waratah Coal) can be seen. Palmer is keen to establish the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere. His Waratah Coal exploration leases adjoin Adani’s Carmichael mine but, if developed, Palmers would be three times its size.

Vital habitat for the endangered black-throated finch will be destroyed if any of these mines proceed and this finch’s future survival would be bleak.

Artist Biography:
Rew Hanks has held 25 solo exhibitions and over 170 group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. Nationally he has been awarded 26 print prizes including the Silkcut Open Award in 2013 and the City of Hobart Art Prize in 2014. Since 2006 he has been awarded 11 international Print Prizes in Germany, England, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, India, Bulgaria, and South Korea. In 2014 he won first prize in the 9th Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints in Japan and the Triennale Print Prize at 4th Bangkok Triennale International Print and Drawing in Thailand in 2015. Since 2005 he has successfully undertaken 6 artists in residency programs. These have included – the Royal Botanic Garden, Taronga Zoo and State Library of NSW, RMIT University, Port Jackson Press and the Canopy Art Centre in Cairns. Essays about his work have been recently published in Artist Profile, Art and Australia, Craft Arts International and many international catalogues. His works are held in the Australian National Gallery and most state and regional galleries throughout Australia and twelve international galleries/museums. In 1999 he was awarded a Master of Fine Arts from the University of NSW in Sydney and a Print Fellow from the Tamarind Institute at the University of New Mexico in America in 1991. He has taught all printmaking mediums at many tertiary institutions throughout Sydney since 1986.
Rew Hanks is represented by Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney & Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne.

Writer’s biography:
B.R. Dionysius was founding Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. His poetry has been widely published in literary journals, anthologies, newspapers and online. His eighth poetry collection, Weranga was released in August 2013. He lives in Brisbane, Queensland where he runs, watches birds, teaches English and writes sonnets.
Brett Dionysius website here.

Musician’s biography:
Jim Moginie’s 25 year contribution to Midnight Oil cannot be understated. He is currently touring with his band The FamilyDog. Jim has toured the world with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He is a record producer (Sarah Blasko), collaborator (Carolina Eyck, Kev Carmody), film composer and a fully fledged solo artist.  (from Jim Moginie/Bandcamp website).