Birdwatchers’ Wives come to Leigh on Sea

Meet Rita Grebe (THE GREAT CRESTED): Podiceps cristatus 

Rita will take you on a guide of Essex birds on May 4th at Cafe Valise, Leigh on Sea, following its sell out debut at Metal Culture in Southend.

The pilot performance in May is inspired by Smith’s workshops previously held on
Wallasea Island in Essex, which facilitated over 80 birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts
of all ages to identify their own ‘inner bird’ (fantastical or real; rare or commonly
sighted on Wallasea).

There is a blurring between this collection of inner birds and ‘avian-therianism’: a darker, more
elusive identity where a person believes themselves to share the behaviours and
physical attributes of a bird.

The collection has inspired the creation of both The Lost Grouse and Rita (The Great Crested) Grebe, Smith’s
own inner birds; who will take the audience on an imagined tour of Essex birds
using JIZZ, a birding identification tool.


Photo: Christa Holka

Costume: David Curtis-Ring