Title: I Belong
Artist: Clare James
Location: Queens Park Playspace, 36 Don Rd, Healesville VIC 3777
Coordinates: Latitude: -37.653519 Longitude: 145.523315
I Belong features a cluster of 12 elevated birds’ nests, made of metal and recycled materials, representative of the most common species around Healesville’s Queen’s Park where the sculpture is located.
It symbolises a sense of belonging and a place where our young can grow.
Artist Clare James is intrigued by the beauty and practicality of nests. They fill her with inspiration and hope for the future.
Each nest is as different as the species that built it, yet they all share a sense of belonging.
“Birds belong to nests. Children belong to parks,” says Claire.
Nests represent a place where birds incubate and nurture young life. A place to belong and feel safe in while they play, learn and grow.
Claire draws a connection between the playspace and nests. The park is also a place where we are incubating and nurturing our children. Here they can enjoy social connection, nature and wildlife as they play, learn and grow.
I Belong features 12 unique birds’ nests clustered together made of recycled rusted wire, timber, recycled materials and fired clay. Anchored by large rocks, the nests sit 3 to 5 metres above ground on thin steel poles.
The highest, central and most important nest is the Bunjil (wedge-tail eagle) nest. Bunjil is the creator of life for the local Wurundjeri people.
The other eleven birds' nests are connected to it with wire rods creating perches. The species, which are commonly found in the park, include the willy-wag-tail magpie, mud-lark, bronze-wing pigeon, crow, noisy miner, rainbow lorikeet, blue wren, galah, yellow-tailed black cockatoo and ibis.
The large rocks below the nests welcome children to climb, sit or jump on, and interact with the sculpture. Each rock will feature the name of the bird whose nest sits above, written in Woirwurrung and English.
I Belong is located by the Queens Park Playspace, near the Maroondah Highway and corner of Badger Creek Road, Healesville.
Yarra Ranges Council commissioned the sculpture I Belong by Clare James in 2019.