Jonathan Jones: Call-Out for Gawurra (Feathers)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Understanding wind is an important part of understanding country. Winds bring change, knowledge and ideas. Connected to the winds are budyaan, or the birds, who know the winds best.

Artist Jonathan Jones is working on a new project developing Wiradjuri dhawura gulbanha—Wiradjuri wind philosophy—with Dr Uncle Stan Grant AM.

This exciting project will take the form of an installation of objects and an accompanying soundscape, which will be exhibited as part of the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art in late 2018.


We need your help to gather as many native feathers as you can find, small and big. 

In order to represent the winds, Jones is collecting thousands of native Australian bird feathers. The feathers will be bound with string onto traditional tools, making objects that will be installed in flocks across the gallery wall. The massing of these feathered objects speaks to the knowledge that wind brings.

We’re looking for complete (undamaged) and clean feathers. Everything from seagulls to magpies, wood ducks to cockatoos. Even your pet budgie!


Part of the process of collecting feathers is about getting to know your local environment. Slowing down and paying attention is important.

Take your time as you move through country. If you don’t already know, you will start to notice where feathers collect, often on the leeward side of a park (the side sheltered away from the wind). You’ll learn where birds roost and where birds feed. To find out more about birds in your local area you can visit Birds in Backyards.

Keep in mind that feathers should not be collected from protected areas like national parks or state reserves.


Feathers can be dropped off at the Kaldor Public Art Projects office, or posted along with your name (so we can acknowledge your help!) to:

Jonathan Jones
PO Box 65
Bondi NSW 2026

Please pack your feathers carefully, preferably in a sturdy box or envelope with a cardboard backing and mark 'fragile: do not bend'.

If you have any questions about how to donate feathers, please email

Update: The call-out for feathers has now closed. Please stay tuned for further updates on Jonathan Jones' new artwork.

Mandanng guwu (thank you)