Filmed at Taronga Zoo’s Living Classrooms, which were built especially to inspire and educate the next generation of conservation scientists, Shake the Dust Off Your Wings hopes to reveal the beauty of the critically endangered Gouldian finch and its cousin the Zebra finch. These birds have wildly different circumstances. The Gouldian Finch whose home is in tropical northern sub coastal areas of Australia is critically endangered whereas the Zebra finch, one of our more common finches flourishes and is found in most parts of Australia.
The work is Leila and Melvin's second collaboration, whose ongoing partnership aims to create art that quietens the mind.
Come and explore the immersive exhibition on Ground Floor.
Taronga Zoo’s Living Classrooms
The Taronga Institute of Science & Learning at Taronga Zoo Sydney is home to three unique living classrooms used exclusively for school excursions that are themed around three iconic habitats – a desert, rainforest, and woodland environment. These spaces combine cutting-edge technology and animal exhibits, giving students on an excursion the rare experience to interact up-close with wildlife. In each room, the animals move freely around the space and are conditioned to display natural behaviours.
The location for this series is the desert classroom, with its shocking red sand and busy flock of birds, this room allows students to be transported to a location that epitomizes Australia. With sand beneath their feet, students enjoy the incredible sounds of the circling Gouldian and Zebra Finches, while other animals like lizards and echidna enjoy the shade provided by the trees.
These classrooms provide a transformative experience by translocating students to the animals’ natural habitat, aiming to inspire future scientists and conservation champions for the future. These authentic learning experiences align with curriculum priority areas for students and teachers on an excursion at Taronga Zoo Sydney and reinforce the importance of connecting students with wildlife and the environment around them.
Bird Trainer Grey Fisher, Taronga Zoo
Builder Simon Ingerson, Yippee-Ki-Yay
Cinematographer Chris Bryan
Photographer Wesley Nel
Music Nick Wales