Hexham Abbey - The Great Hall
Saturday 18 June: 11.30am
Tickets: £8, £6
Susan Ogilvy started painting bird nests almost by accident. One day, while tidying up her garden after a storm, she found a chaffinch nest - a strange, sodden lump on the grass under a fir tree. She carried it inside and placed it on a newspaper; over the next few hours, as the water drained out of it, the sodden lump blossomed into a mossy jewel. She was amazed and dropped everything to make a painting of the nest at exact life size.
This was the start of an obsession; Ogilvy has since painted more than fifty bird nests from life, each time marvelling at its ingenious construction. Every species of bird has its own vernacular, but sources its materials - most commonly twigs, roots, grasses, reeds, leaves, moss, lichen, hair, feathers and cobwebs, less usually, mattress stuffing and string - according to local availability. Ogilvy would, of course, never disturb nesting birds; instead she relies upon serendipity, which is why all her nests have either been abandoned after fulfilling their purpose, or displaced by strong winds.
Exquisitely designed and packaged, Nests will be an essential addition to the libraries of all nature lovers.
Susan is interviewed by Sheilagh Matheson.
Running time: 1hr
Please note: A handling charge of 50p per ticket applies to bookings made in person or over the phone. No handling charges apply to online bookings.
Concession prices: available to Friends of the Festival, those on benefits and students.
Carers qualify for free ‘essential companion’ tickets. Wheelchair spaces are limited, please book directly at Box Office (booking fees will not apply).
Book a table and receive 10% discount at The Beaumont Hotel on presentation of your ticket.