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Gum Swamp Birds (2022)

Gum Swamp attracts a diverse variety of fauna and is a nationally significant site for ornithology (bird watching).


The site offers a high level of protection and is the home of a number of endangered and vulnerable species. Due to Gum Swamp’s importance as waterbird and bird habitat, the site has Wildlife Refuge status.

Four bird hides, located on the water’s edge, feature unobtrusive vantage points for avid and amateur twitchers to observe over 150 species of water and forest birds, both local and migratory. The structures are aptly named after the life-sized bronze sculptures located at the entrance to each bird hide.

1. Avocet & Stilt

2. Wood Duck

3. Sea Eagle

4. Spoonbill

“The four species of bird were chosen for the Gum Swamp project as they can be commonly seen from those vantage points. Being designed specifically for each location, the sculptures fit perfectly and very naturally into their new homes” - Mon Garling. 

Gum Swamp Birds 2.JPG

MATERIALS Bronze and Hardwood 

LOCATION Gum Swamp Wildlife Refuge, Forbes NSW. Head down Warrul Road, then turn left onto Greens Road. 

About the Sculptor

Brett Garling (Dubbo, NSW)

Brett Garling is widely known as ‘Mon’ to friends and collectors alike. ‘Mon’ is short for ‘Monster’ – a nickname gained at the age of five, due to his fascination for anatomy and collecting of bones and animal specimens. Born in Pambula, Mon’s work is influenced by his childhood in rural towns, such as, Lightning Ridge, Narrabri and Dubbo where his love of the bush and its characters were nurtured. Mon strives to find the presence and character in his subjects, breathing life into his work, transforming clay and paint into a vital living form. 

Mon has had over forty group and solo exhibitions and is an exhibiting member of the Sculptors Society and The Australian Plein-Air Artists Group. As a multi award-winning artist and sculptor, Mon’s work is held in both private and corporate collections worldwide. 

A fascination for the technical aspects of casting his sculptures in bronze led Mon to establish his own foundry in conjunction with his art gallery, Garling Gallery in 2004. This allowed him to have a permanent collection of both his paintings and sculpture on display. 

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