The Shining Cuckoo
Jo Gallagher

The Shining Cuckoo

The shining cuckoo or pipiwharauroa - (Chrysococcyx lucidus)

Shining cuckoos return to New Zealand each spring after spending winter in the tropics. It has absolutely stunning plumage: an iridescent green back and a pale breast with fine dark green barring. They lay their eggs in the nests of grey warblers, who incubate them and rear the chicks. After hatching, the cuckoo chick ejects all grey warbler eggs and/or nestlings from the nest and is raised alone.

This collection allows me to explore the fun there is to be had with language, symbolism and entrenched beliefs in a quirky, humorous way.

Living in the small King Country settlement of Piopio provides Jo with rich visual and personal influences. Jo is an established King Country artist working primarily as a contemporary realist but  more recently she has begun to add another layer of interest into her compositions – that of humour!

Arcylic on plywood board.

600mm diameter