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The Overwintering Project

The Overwintering Project is an international collaboration. 


The printmaking communities of Australia and New Zealand banded together to bring visibility to our most endangered group of birds, our migratory shorebirds and their habitats. The aim is to raise awareness of migratory shorebirds; their existence and their needs - to encourage us to do our part to preserve these extraordinary creatures. Every year these birds migrate from the shores of Australia and New Zealand to their breeding grounds above the arctic circle in Siberia and Alaska. The remarkable annual circuit they fly is called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, which passes through 23 countries. 

Anyone can join the Overwintering Project. See:

This project is endorsed by BirdLife Australia and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.

The Estuary Art Centre in Orewa (north of Auckland, NZ) held an annual exhibition based on the Overwintering Project, but covering broader conservation themes and incorporating all media. 


'Where the Seabirds go' - group exhibition 2021

​"Millions of seabirds come to the mainland or islands in New Zealand territorial waters to breed and overwinter every 9 months, making New Zealand the seabird capital of the world.

Where the Seabirds go is a multi-media exhibition featuring nearly 30 artists from throughout New Zealand who have given time to investigate some of the reasons why we have lost 70% of our seabirds since the 1950’s. Predation, by-catch (3,000 – 14,000 birds are lost each year), global warming causing a decline in food stocks, an increase in plastics, are some of the causes."

- Val Cuthbert, curator

Artist Statements: Ursula Christel

Fallen Angel I & II, 2021

Winds of Change, 2021



The Overwintering Project

Estuary Art Centre, Orewa, Auckland

5 to 22  September 2019

Left and (detail) right: PURE (a delicate balance), 2019

Installation by Ursula Christel and William Marks

Birdcage stand, 5L plastic water bottle, Mahurangi River water and contents, monoprint label, 'scrimshaw' etching, cable ties, cork, found rock

PURE (a delicate balance), 2019

Artist Statement: Ursula Christel

Everything is inter-connected. The Bar-tailed godwits inhabit ecosystems in NZ, China and Alaska. Each link in this chain is vital for their survival; any changes within and between these ecosystems will upset the fragile balance.


Migratory birds don’t recognise national boundaries. Safeguarding their habitats against pollution, sediment run-off, and ongoing  urban development, requires an international, coordinated effort.

The Overwintering Project 2019

Collaborative installations - Ursula Christel & Sue Hill

Artist Statements: Ursula Christel & Sue Hill


K Air: Arrivals and Departures, 2019

KUAKA CAFE (sorry, we’re closed), 2019


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