An archival, giclée print of Regent Parrot by Brendon Marczan. This limited edition print is one of 25 and is signed, titled and numbered by the artist. It is delivered unframed, rolled into a tube with acid-free tissue paper.
1100mm Wide x 950mm High
This series arose from an encounter with a friend’s five-year-old daughter just before Christmas. The arrival of Christmas beetles was a big part of the holiday build-up when I was a kid in the Sydney suburbs. The metallic beetles would buzz around us at barbecues, sometimes sticking to our skin, hair or clothes with their hook-like legs. They were friendly, harmless and beautiful creatures: large gold bugs, with dashes of blue-green and sometimes purple, like airborne Christmas-tree baubles.
But this child had never seen one. Had they disappeared? Hadn’t I noticed?
It turns out that beetle numbers are in decline because of drought and habitat loss. I began to feel sentimental about my childhood, sad that the beetles were going and that this child didn’t know them, and disappointed that I hadn’t paid attention. I hadn’t really appreciated the nature around me as a child, but now I recalled not just the beetles but also possums, snakes and foxes.
The Endangered series works through ideas of sadness: sadness about falling numbers of these wonderful animals, but also sadness about the missed connections and disappointments of growing up and family life. When I told that little girl about the Christmas beetles, I felt a link to my grandparents and rediscovered experiences I didn’t notice at the time.
The pieces take ages – I worked on Possum for three months – but I love doing them and figuring out the detail and colours. I drew the beetles from life, thanks to a friend catching me a specimen in his garden. Well, I say life, but sadly the model died because I didn’t know how to feed it properly – another layer of sadness.