ATM - The LapwingArtwork installed - April 2014

Beautifully-crafted bird forms have been applied to walls since around the fourth century BC. This complex, and refined formal writing system devised by the ancient Egyptians provided meaningful communication, as well as appearing decorative, and profoundly rich in context.

Within a busy mix of symbols the bird exists in a variety of guises. And when a bird symbol was combined with another hieroglyphic form, a number of differing meanings could be read. Punctuating the flow of this manifold script, birds would carry message and meaning to the reader.

Fast forward several thousand years, and mankind's supposed cultural advancement might see our feathered friends struggling to stay on the page, let alone the wall. Within the UK alone, the expanding sprawl of our urban advancement, along with intensive agriculture sees many once familiar bird species now rare, often endangered. And having spent two days in the company of the passionate street artist known as ATM, one gets a sense of why he finds himself on a mission to champion the beautiful birds once commonplace within our land; from barn owls to bitterns; spotted flycatchers to skylarks; kestrels to lapwings, ATM's message is neatly encompassed within a finely-cut stencil work 'Give me a hedgerow'.

With the natural world a popular element embraced by TAG, we were delighted when ATM agreed to paint one of his glorious, super-sized artworks within our urban gallery. His bird of choice - a lapwing. Over two breezy days the piece appeared, as ever to the very positive appreciation of all who passed by. 

So should we look to the ancient Egyptians for a translation of the end result? If so, one is presented with a juxtaposition which might be accidentally prophetic, or cruelly ironic. Using the system, our lapwing looks right - this suggests we read from right to left. To that end, we have a varicoloured, vibrantly-plumaged peewit, now located on the RSPB's Red list, standing dangerously close to the cold steel of a trash container. Time to start planting some hedgerows!

ATM - Lapwing movie to follow.

This street artwork was funded by


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