The care of small birds: Muriwai

The care of small birds: Muriwai

  • Artist

    Colin McCahon

  • Production Date


  • Medium

    synthetic polymer paint on unstretched jute canvas

  • Size

    1730 x 925 mm

  • Credit

    Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1985

  • Accession Number


  • Accession Date

    Apr 1985

  • Department

    New Zealand Art

  • Classification


  • Collection


  • Subjects

    abstraction, rosaries, environmental protection, birds, beaches

  • Description

    Gannets swarm above the pillar of rock that is Motutara Island, while two strings of rosary beads hang above a shifting horizon. Colin McCahon painted in series, building bodies of work around the big themes of life and death, time and loss, history
    and place. The Care Of Small Birds: Muriwai, exhibited in Necessary Protection (1977), explores the young gannet’s leap of faith and first flight from the top of the Muriwai cliffs.

Exhibition history