Walt Disney, who depicted highly imagined visionary animated fantasies, had a favourite song: Feed the birds from the motion picture Mary Poppins.
Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people she calls,
Come, buy my bags full of crumbs;
Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
The young ones are hungry
The nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
- Sherman Brothers (Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman), Feed the birds, 1964
Curated by Sarah Woodfine and Danielle Arnaud, A bird in the head investigates dream and fantastical realms in relation to birds; it also explores the overlaps between the domestic and the wild, escape, control and containment.
David Attenborough once said: 'everyone likes birds', he also said 'birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious. Once they take off from our bird tables or our lawns they disappear into a world of their own.'
An accompanying text by Peter Suchin will be available as part of the exhibition.