If you happen to be near central London this month, then you simply must see The Paper Aviary, a special installation at St James's Market where over 100 multicoloured birds have taken up residence in its pavilion.
The public art takes inspiration from Charles II’s exotic birdcage, which housed his collection of tropical birds during the 1600’s in the heart of St James’s Park. It was this aviary that lent its name to London’s famous Birdcage Walk.
Conceived by design and brand specialists dn&co and created in collaboration with Argentinian studio Guardabosques, it aims to capture the wonder evoked in 17th century London at the sight of bright green Sulawesi hanging parrots, red and yellow lories and lorikeets and huge marauding cassowaries in the heart of the city.
Each handcrafted bird also displays plumage and patterns inspired by the fashion houses and craftsmen of the local area. Houndstooth, checks and polka dots are taken from the fabric patterns of brands such as John Smedley, Turnbull & Asser and Aquascutum animating each paper bird. Enriching the experience further the exhibition features a curated soundtrack of birdsong.
Patrick Eley, Creative Director of dn&co said: "Imagine 17th century London – no internet, no television, no libraries. Then imagine walking through St James’s Park and coming across a cage full of exotic birds – like nothing you’ve never seen before. This exhibition is an homage to that sense of wonder and explores how today, when it comes to fashion, life imitates nature."
The exhibition, which is organised by The Crown Estate, will be open to the public free of charge until May 2017.
All images courtesy of St James's Market Pavilion