Jane Bamford

A collaboration between art and science to save the Little Penguins that nest along the River Derwent, adds an exciting dimension to the Summer Salon exhibition.

Handmark ceramist, Jane Bamford creates unique ‘nesting burrows’ for the penguins which are under threat from domestic predators and urban sprawl: “I see artistic design, and the development of habitat support, as innovative and important creative work,” she tells us.

Hewn from natural clay, Jane’s small igloo-shaped penguin ‘safe homes’ merge seamlessly into the coastal landscape; ‘sand ladders’ keep predators at bay; ventilation ensures temperatures stay cool; while a lid allows researchers to safely check their little charges. Working closely with an expert team of scientists, conservationists and designers, Jane believes artists “are uniquely placed to translate scientific knowledge into possible practical solutions.”

Each summer some 100 Little Penguins make their way to the shores of the Derwent Estuary to breed. They return to the same seven colonies, where 14 clay nesting burrows have already been successfully installed. “Artists and designers have a great role to play in the future of conservation.” An example of the power of art and science making a difference to our world. But, as Bridget Jupe from the Derwent Penguin Advisory Group cautions: “We have lost three colonies over the last decade. And once they are gone, the penguins don’t come back.”

Jane’s nesting burrow is for sale at Summer Salon, to be gifted to the Little Penguins. The Summer Salon runs from January 6 – 23.