Oakley, Greg

Australian artist Greg Oakley has had a lifelong fascination with birds and bird art, and began photographing birds 20 years ago, progressing from traditional film to digital in the early 2000s. In the past six years, he has worked on perfecting the difficult and exacting area of bird photography known as “setup”, where perches and backgrounds are meticulously crafted and designed, and lighting strictly controlled. There are sometimes hundreds of individual photographs taken and then digitally combined to create a single work. With a combination of photographic skill, field craft, meticulousness and incredible patience, he removes the subject from its natural environment and context, re-imagining it in a field-guide style reminiscent of the historic bird artists. Oakley’s photographs represent a reconstructed contemporary vision of important historic artists such as Gould and Audubon. This collection of stunning artwork is a testament to the natural beauty of birds, highlighting the precarious existence of many endangered species and a reminder of the beauty we could lose. By isolating the subject into an unblemished reality, each species’ character and beauty is celebrated with empathy and understanding. The resulting images provide both a rare glimpse in stunning detail of these delicate creatures, and a poignant reminder of the tragic, impending loss of many of them due to habitat loss and climate change.

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Images Publishing, October 2022.  240 pages, hardcover