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London, England born 1933

  • Movements: Australia from 1961

Bird brooch
bird of paradise
1975 decorative arts and design, Textile, silk, velvet, satin, coloured cotton threads
Technique: silk, velvet, satin, coloured cotton threads
Primary Insc: C288
a) 24.2 h x 26.5 w cm
b) 23.0 h x 45.8 w cm
Crafts Board Collection donated by the Australia Council 1982
Accession No: NGA 82.2405.A-B
Subject: Collection: The Crafts Board of Australia Council collection of Australian and International decorative and design arts, acquired 1982.


  • The grouping of birds on a wall was a popular decorative item in many Australian homes in the 1950s. The birds, which were usually ducks, were ceramic or plaster and were displayed in a set of three flying up a wall.

    Heather Dorrough’s brooches are displayed in a similar way in Silently Stirring and depict a variety of birds in the natural world. The textures of a range of fabrics, such as silk, satin and velvet highlight the bird’s spectacular plumage.

    Activity: Using old pieces of fabric and coloured thread make your own beautiful bird wall feature or brooch. You could use sparkly paint to help decorate your bird.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010