Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation

Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation

A writer’s search for inspiration, beauty, and solace leads her to birds in this meditation on creativity and life – a field guide to things small and significant.

In 2012, Kyo Maclear met a musician with a passion for birds. Curious about what had prompted a young urban artist to suddenly embrace nature she decided to follow him for a year to find out.

Observing two artists through seasonal shifts and migrations, Birds Art Life celebrates the particular madness of chasing after birds in a big city, and explores what happens when the principles of birdwatching are applied to other aspects of art and life. It looks at the ecology of urban spaces and the creative and liberating effects of keeping your eyes and ears wide open. Far from seeking the exotic, Kyo discovers joy in the birds she spots in city parks and harbours, along eaves and on wires. In a world that values big and fast, Kyo begins to look to the small, steady, slow accumulations of knowledge, and the lulls that give way to contemplation.

Moving between the granular and the grand, peering into the inner landscape as much as the outer one, Birds Art Life asks how we are shaped and nurtured by our passions, and how we might come to love and protect not only the world’s natural places but also the challenging urban spaces where so many of us live.

Title:Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781501154201
Format Type:

    Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation Reviews

  • Ariel

    A NEW FAVOURITE!!! YAY!!!This book isn't for everyone, but it was definitely for me.This is a meditation, a pause, a break. It's an artist who had to take a year to calm down and step back.. through b...

  • Diane S ?

    A book that found me at the perfect moment. I was feeling stressed with all the things that needed to be done before Christmas, anxiety ridden because time was running out. I started reading this boo...

  • Emer (A Little Haze)

    Upon closing the last pages of this book I feel as if I should bow my head in silence, speak only in whispered tones. Make some sort of reverential gesture. I really didn't know what to expect from re...

  • Jennifer

    "Birds Art Life" is the type of book that asks to be read slowly, with contemplation. I found that my enjoyment of the book increased as I set it aside for several days after reading, and then went ba...

  • David Schaafsma

    I read this book because I am a fan of Kyo Maclear's picture books such as Julia, Child; The Liszts; Virginia Wolf, all adorably illustrated whimsical clever books. I also had thought I should this ye...

  • Antoinette

    What drew me to this book was the fact that it had to do with the author’s year discovering birds. I spent 3 years with a group of birdwatchers, led by a bird enthusiast, that I absolutely loved. Mu...

  • Rebecca

    Troubled by her father’s ill health and feeling generally a bit stuck in her career and relationships, children’s book author Kyo Maclear (I loved her The Liszts) undertook a year of birdwatching ...

  • Lata

    4.5 stars. Lovely language created lovely images in my head. Kyo Maclear begins this book with her father's ill health, and the grief she's feeling. This leads her eventually to meeting a musician, wh...

  • Briar's Reviews

    Book ReviewBook Title: Birds Art Life: A Year of ObservationBook Author: Kyo MaclearIntroduction: I was craving some inspirational nonfiction, so I decided to pick this book up. I received this book...

  • Samantha Kilford

    If the books I review on this website are indicative of something, it's that I don't read a lot of non-fiction. I'm the person who'd much rather an action packed novel about, say, an alien invasion th...