‘Skein’ describes the V-shaped formation of flocks of wild geese or swans in flight.
Mann’s interpretation of a skein illustrates the Chatham Island robin (black robin) whose numbers had dropped to only five and was saved by conservationist Don Merton in the 1970/80s. There were two adult females and only one of these ‘Old Blue’, managed to successfully rear chicks. Today there are an estimated 250 black robins, all descended from Old Blue who sits unequivocally at the top of her family tree.
This stack of robins forms a triangle – bold and simplistic within the confines of the square picture plane, nestling into corners, halving and intersecting. The individual bird is integral to the flock or skein.
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Gallery De Novo
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