One of London's newest permanent art exhibits is "Paper Aviary", located in St. James' Market off Jermyn Street and Regent Street, a short walk from Piccadilly Circus. "Paper Aviary" pays tribute to the exotic birdcages that used to line Birdcage Walk in St. James' Park. The tradition of birdcages and the aviary in St. James' Park was started by Charles II who installed the aviary here in the 1600s. Today, St. James' Park continues with the bird tradition in that pelicans and other colourful birds can be seen in the parks; however, the aviary and birdcages themselves no longer exist.
The installation "Paper Aviary" was created and designed by dn&co in collaboration with Argentinian studip Guardabosques. It captures the bright green hanging parrots, red and yellow lories and lorikeets and huge cassowaries as paper creations. In the 17th century (before the Internet and photography), many people would never have seen these exotic birds, so I had trouble imagining how magical a visit to the aviary would have been for them.
Keeping in line with the fashion design that is regarded highly in this area of London (St. James), the birds have been created out of paper with fashionable patterns. They are all unique and going about their 'life' behind the glass in their little boxes. Some fly, and some hold onto a branch; others dive while others stand or perch.
When inside the aviary (or standing just outside), the experience is heightened further with birdsong. Birds chirp happily while examining the collection.
The "Paper Aviary" is on display from 15 February until 3 May and features 118 birds in red, yellow, green, orange, and blue paper - all decorated with their unique patterns from Turnbull & Asser to modern zebra print from Tiger of Sweden's latest collection.