Prattle, scoop, trembling:
flutter of Australian birds


Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds
Artists’ book, unique state, featuring 15 individual collages on cabinet cards with pencil additions, and accompanying narrative (by Gracia Haby), 15 pencil drawings on Fabriano Artistico 640gsm traditional white hot-press paper with metallic paint trim, housed in a cloth Solander box (by Louise Jennison), with inlaid collage
exhibited alongside
An index box of Australian birds still fluttering
Collage housed in a cloth Solander box, with inlaid drawing


From Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) to Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) — well, not quite. Why, not even alphabetised. But true, if bended to suit fancy — a catalogue of Australian birds in environments augmented and closer to natural. Silver-voiced bird calls, filtered through collages on cabinet cards. Silvered feathers, fluttered through drawings made with a 2B pencil. Whether knee-deep in carpet weave or native grass clump, this naturalist's companion is misleading, but its dedication, sincere.

“Lost in a wilderness of listening leaves,”[i] looking at the canopy overhead, eyes seeking the source of flittering and chirrups, or the tiny cup of a nest, who hasn’t thought: I wish I had wings.

[i] A line plucked from John Clare’s poem, ‘The Nightingale’s Nest,’ to place both bird and book in nature, quoted by Stephanie Kuduk Weiner, ‘On the Publication of John Clare’s The Rural Muse, 1835,’ BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History, ed. Dino Franco Felluga, extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, accessed October 2016


Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds was created especially for and was recently exhibited in its entirety as part of Birds: Flight paths in Australian Art at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. Also included in the exhibition, alongside John Lewin’s Squatter pigeons and a decorated emu egg, was our print, Underneath Soane’s ‘star-fish’ ceiling, the library at No. 12 proved anything but quiet (2016), and around the corner, A Flight of Twelve Southern Hemisphere Birds (2013).

Birds: Flight paths in Australian art
2nd December, 2016 – 12th February, 2017
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
Civic Reserve, 350 Dunns Road (corner of Mornington-Tyabb Road and Dunns Road), Mornington, Victoria

Brook Andrew; Arthur Boyd; Richard Browne; Penny Byrne; Kate Daw & Stewart Russell; Adrienne Doig; Marian Drew; Juan Ford; Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison; Fiona Hall; Treahna Hamm; Hans Heysen; Patrina Hicks; Judy Holding; Clara Ngala Inkamala; Judith Pungarta Inkamala; James Stu; Leila Jeffreys; Martin King; John William Lewin; Sydney Long; Joseph McGlennon; James Morrison; Munduwalawala; David Noonan; Jill Orr; Trent Parke; Kenny Pittock; Ben Quilty; Kate Rohde; Heather Shimmen; James Smeaton; Valerie Sparks; Henry Steiner; Tjunkaya Tapaya; Claudia Terstappen; Rover Thomas; Christian Thompson; Albert Tucker; Louise Weaver; Guan Wei; Fred Williams; John Wolesley; Salvatore Zofrea

Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds, alongside Closer to Natural, has been acquired by Artspace Mackay.

Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds has since been exhibited as part of Focus on the Collection: Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison in the Foyer Gallery of Artspace Mackay (Friday 30th of November, 2018 – Sunday 3rd of February, 2019). The exhibition, drawn from the Mackay Regional Council collection, also included our artists’ books Find your place (2007); Small collection (2008); Postcards from... a key to make your own world visible (2009); A vagary of impediments & a sneak of weasels (2009); Tumble & fall (2009); This evening, however, I am thinking of things past (2009); Closer to Natural (2016); and Paw Pad Path (2018).


Winged within (in order of appearance)
Crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans)
Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus)
Australian golden whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis)
Bennets cassowary (Casuarius bennetti)*
Superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)
Splendid fairy-wren (Malurus splendens)
Red-backed fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus)
White-winged fairy-wren (Malurus leucopterus)
Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen)
Brown honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta)
Australian king-parrot (Alisterus scapularis)
Rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus)
Little penguin (Eudyptula minor)
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)
Australian ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)
Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)
Painted buttonquail (Turnix varius)
Superb fruit dove (Ptilinopus superbus)
Rose-crowned fruit dove (Ptilinopus regina)
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)
Magnificent riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
Greater painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)
Australian pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Yellow-rumped thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Brown cuckoo-dove (Macropygia amboinensis)
Noisy pitta (Pitta versicolor)
Torresian imperial pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa)
Diamond dove (Geopelia cuneata)
Grey shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica)
Southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)
Brown falcon (Falco berigora)
Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

On a side note
Earlier in the year, we launched a Pozible campaign for preorder copies (and donations towards the printing costs) of a printed edition of Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds. The campaign closed at midnight on the last day of January, and tiny winged updates were posted to our news page and nestled under #PrattleScoopTrembling on instagram as we moved from the printing and binding phase of the book towards its release.

Thank-you to everyone who supported our campaign.

We released the book from our stall at the 2017 NGV Melbourne Art Book Fair.

You can now order a copy through our online store.


Related links,
See Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birdS as it developed, on the working table

Quick Interview with Gracia Haby of Gracia & Louise, Milly Sleeping, Sunday 1st of January, 2017

The Inner Heartbreak of Birds is Revealed by Flight Paths in Australian Art, Financial Review, Saturday 25th of November, 2016

Louise Jennison, How to Bind a Concertina, workshop for VCE Art and Studio Art students as part of Folio Development, in conjunction with Birds: Flight paths in Australian art

You can hear us prattling and chirruping,
In conversation with Sara Savage, Parallel Lines, RRR, Wednesday 7th of December, 2016
In conversation with Stefanie Kechayas, Arts Weekly, 3MBS, Saturday 26th of November, 2016

Prattle, scoop, trembling, printed edition 2017

Prattling in Mackay, Art Guide, 2017