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Two Birds, one exhibit

By Daneka Hill

An artistic mother-daughter duo has put contrasting painting styles head to head – or should we say side by side – in a combined exhibition of individual and collaborative works.

Professional artist Tarli Bird and her mother Jan have only recently started working together on art pieces.

Jan Bird, 59, said she was surprised when her daughter suggested they show an exhibition together.

“I was really pleased she thought of me,” Jan said.

“Tarli is becoming quite well known and I thought she might have preferred to keep doing her own thing.”

Jan said Tarli had been passionate about avoiding her mother’s artistic influence since she was in high school.

“Her style is her own, definitely; she’s created her own unique way of doing things — from the start in high school she was defiant and didn’t want to follow in mum’s shoes. She was going to do physical education as a subject but in the 11th hour she went into art. She went to-and-fro on that a lot but decided she could run in her spare time.”

Tarli, 32, said her mother undoubtably had an influence on her as a child.

“Growing up in a house with an art studio you do absorb things,” Tarli said.

“I admire how well she captures the environment. That’s something I can’t really match.”

The Birds have very different art styles — Tarli described her work as more ‘abstract’ while Jan said she had a more realistic approach and a focus on nature.

Both are equally experimental in their own ways.

“I currently use eco-dyes,” Jan said.

``I’ll take whatever I’m trying to paint and use material from the environment in the art by steaming them. You can often see bits of bark and barbed wire in the paint.”

Tarli uses spray paints and hand embroidery among other methods to embed her work with another layer of detail.

Jan said it was her daughter’s idea for them to work together.

“It started with some flops I didn’t like in my own studio which she thought she could do something with, and then it became a more deliberate thing where we sent works back and forth,” Jan said.

Jan currently lives in Bright, in Victoria’s Alpine Shire, while Tarli has spent the past decade in Echuca.

The Two Birds exhibition is currently on display at The Foundry Art Space on Murray Esplanade until its official closing event on Sunday, July 26.

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Echuca-Moama artists open new exhibiton

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