Nestled in the foothills of Mt Wellington is the hamlet of Neika. A verdant oasis, bordered by the Northwest Bay River and flanked with eucalypt forest and moss carpeted fernglades.
Here at Byrneside aviaries and enclosures contain recovering native animals and birds, some needing intensive or extended care. All are assessed carefully on arrival and only those that will be able to support themselves without serious disability are rehabilitated and released into suitable habitat. Great care is taken to minimise human contact and prevent incorrect imprinting; where possible they are housed with companions of the same species.
To assist in financing “Wild baby rescue” we record the native species in photographs, the occasional bronze sculpture and watercolour paintings; beautifully framed in Tasmanian timbers.
Being able to study these unique creatures as they grow and recover is our only form of tuition, watching their individual characters develop is our inspiration to share their images with you.
Briar McClay is the photographer, quietly and patiently recording their portraits at feed times or whilst the babies are sunning or being fed.
Sylvie McClay is the painter and sculptor, using the many photographs to match colour and posture against memories of movement and behavior.
Greg McClay creates the frames using reclaimed timber from sawmill offcuts; Blackwood, sassafras, myrtle and celerytop pine; cut to preserve the knot holes and bark edges and polished to accentuate colour and grain.
Works by Sylvie and Briar are currently in our newly refurbished gallery window at Off Centre, together with a beautiful display of native birds' nests, eggs and feathers. The exhibition runs until Thursday, 15th March. Sylvie and Briar's wildlife art will still be available inside Off Centre after 15th March.