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Ray Ching: Dawn Chorus: The Fables

World-renowned artist Ray Ching has created a truly unique celebration of New Zealand’s birds and landscapes in his latest collection of works - Dawn Chorus. Magical, humorous and beautiful, these are New Zealand’s birds as you have never seen them before.

Told in six parts, the story begins with The Arrival, in which the birds of New Zealand scramble to share the news of Aesop’s visit. The second part, The Voyage, outlines Aesop’s background and life before he journeys to New Zealand.

The third part, The Great Bathing, looks at the preparations of the birds as they ready themselves for the concert they plan to give in Aesop’s honour, while The Journeys illustrates some of the voyages the birds had to make to be there.


Then there is The Concert itself, and once the birds have found suitable vantage points from which to watch the proceedings, the stories and songs begin. The final part, The Fables, follows Aesop as he travels the country making notes and writing fables based on the birds and animals he sees.

The exhibition offers the viewer cleverly painted and elaborately constructed illustrations that form the basis of the accompanying book, Dawn Chorus: The Legendary Voyage to New Zealand the Fabled Teller of Fables.

The exhibition Dawn Chorus features works from the chapter The Fables of the accompanying book. The book is available for purchase at the Gallery. RRP $58.



About Ray Ching

Ray Ching is considered by many to be one of the best wildlife painters of the twentieth century. Growing up on a farm in Nelson, New Zealand, he was introduced to the birds and other creatures that have remained central to his art. Books of his paintings include: The Reader’s Digest Book of British Birds (1969, and still in print), Raymond Ching, The Bird Paintings (1978), Studies & Sketches of a Bird Painter (1981), New Zealand Birds (1987), Wild Portraits (1988), Journey of an Artist (1990), Kiwis, A Monograph of the Family Apterygidae (1990), Voice from the Wilderness (1994), and Aesop’s Kiwi Fables (2102). Raymond Ching is now based in England.

The Touring exhibition Ray Ching: Dawn Chorus: The Fables has been developed by ARTIS Gallery, Auckland.

Principal Funder

Annual Strategic Partners