Harrier diorama

Museum Diorama

Oils, acrylics, plaster, dead birds

This is a diorama I created for the Canterbury Museum many years ago (I think about 1989, but I'm not 100% sure of the exact year). The birds are harrier hawks (dead, and stuffed by someone else — someone less squeamish about that sort of theing than me), and the background painting is of a section of the Southern Alps, painted from a photograph. The rocks are made out of polyfilla (what Americans call "spackle") and painted with household acrylics.

It took me about a month to paint the backdrop, much to the frustration of my boss who kept telling me to just fill up the valley with mist or something. I engaged in a policy of selective deafness, and kept on painting what I wanted to paint, and I think I did a pretty good job in the end.

I did a bunch of dioramas and displays for the Bird Hall when it was renovated, but most of them consisted of rebuilding and repainting old dioramas that had been created by someone else in Ye Olde Tymes. This, and a kiwi nest (too dark to photograph with my puny digicam) were the only ones I created from scratch.