After hearing stories from friends and family about the benefits of backyard chickens, Nowra’s Dora Rognvaldsdottir became “a little bit obsessed”.
The professional sculptor moved away from her usual large scale pieces, to create a serious of “larger than life” chooks.
“They’re called ‘The Graces’ and they are sculptures that people can relate to really easily,” she said.
“They are interactive, so you can turn them and move them around, they’ve all got a personality.”
The Graces have been chosen to star in the at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s exhibition, titled Artisans in the Garden, which celebrates the natural world through the mediums of sculpture, ceramics, textiles, hand-blown glass, photography and jewellery.
Dora, who has more recently been known as “the chook lady”, said the sculptures came about after several conversations about the value of backyard chickens.
“My daughter was living in Melbourne and she had a little yard but still had space for some chooks,” she said.
“Before that I had no idea about how wonderful they were, so I went on this chook adventure.”
Dora said the sculptures always sparked interesting conversations between visitors.
“There is something inherently Australian about having chooks in your backyard,” she said.
“Everyone has a story or an experience with chickens to look back on.”
“These sculptures are a lot of fun, there’s a bit of humour to them.”
Artisans in the Gardens curator Lucette Moore said The Graces were set to be a crowd favourite.
“Dora's chooks are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face with their fun and distinctive personalities,” she said.
“They also come with a money back guarantee that they won't mess up your porch, or dig up the daisies”.
Although she’s happy being the chook lady for now, Dora said creating larger works was her passion. In 2017, her entry in the inaugural Sculpture on Clyde exhibition claimed the acquisitive prize in Batemans Bay.
Now in its 18th year, Artisans in the Garden will be held at historic Lion Gate Lodge from October 13-21.
A share of the proceeds from the exhibition goes towards assisting Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens with continuing their support of horticulture, conservation, scientific research and education programs within the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.