Gallery: Shoe-Shaped Wooden Birdhouses Hang Over Urban Power Lines Like...

Bermudez' birdhouses were designed to create temporary homes for the Pied Flycatcher.
Bermudez' birdhouses were designed to create temporary homes for the Pied Flycatcher.

Bermudez’ birdhouses were designed to create temporary homes for the Pied Flycatcher. The birds migrate from their homes in Norway to West Africa each year, seeking shelter along the way. The birdhouses provide respite in Lillehammer’s urbanized area, where they hang from power lines and street lamps.

In order for the Pied Flycatcher to be attracted to the birdhouses, Bermudez studied their characteristics and applied them to the modules. Aspects such as materials, dimensions, durability, waterproofing and height were carefully factored into the project’s final design. The pieces were made by gluing layer upon layer of thin wood to create orb-like modules. Bermudez was careful to use environmentally friendly glue, and FSC-certified wood in the process.

After much pressing, cutting, and drying, the shoe-shaped birdhouses were ready to hang. The “soles” of the birdhouses were left removable – making each cleanable and therefore reusable once the flock has moved on. Bermudez also installed a compartment for a webcam to facilitate study of the tiny birds.

The quirky public birdhouse installation creates a dialogue between man, nature, and art – and its relation to the urban setting. The Birdhouse Project fostered Pied Flycatchers this year, and it should reappear next season.

+ Christian Bermudez


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  1. amnesiatic October 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t know if the shoes-on-a-powerline carry the same meaning in Norway as they do in the states – but if they did, how long till cops start mistaking them as drug markers?

  2. dshock1 October 16, 2011 at 10:53 am

    i think it’s brilliant. taking something that may have a negative stereotype and turning into a positive one. well done.

  3. CraftyGal1965 October 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    While I love the idea of more birdhouses, I am concerned that using the sneaker which is a negative image a bit disconcerting. Sneakers have been a part of the Graffiti concerns as they are most often used in “marking” a house as a place to buy drugs. It is just not appropriate to use this particular piece.

  4. eyeonyou1 October 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    seems strange to immitate something that isnt very pretty in the first place ? why not make wooden versions of plastic bottles to put on the beach for crabs to live in?

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