17 Jun 2023 - 1 Oct 2023 | 10.00am - 5.00pm


17 June – 1 October 2023

Birds by Lisa Woolfe is an invitation to pause reality for a moment, engage with our animal senses and imagine the feeling of gentle flight and movement.

Installed in the cavernous industrial space of Casula Powerhouse’s Turbine Hall, experience the awe and wonder of Woolfe’s immersive multi-media installation. See her lofty sculptural birds constructed from utilitarian materials adorn the ceiling and her huge hand-drawn animations fill the hall with the joy and wonder of birds in flight.

Open daily for the duration of the exhibition, a hands-on art making workshop suitable for all ages will be accompany Woolfe’s dynamic homage to the Australian Raven.

birds by lisa

Lisa Woolfe is fascinated by the dynamics of avian flight. She has spent many hours carefully observing a population of Australian Ravens who live on the edge of Manly Dam on Sydney’s north shore. Inspired by Leonardo DaVinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds (1501-1506), Woolfe has pushed the boundaries of the drawing medium in delightful and technically sophisticated ways to beautifully capture in gestural sweeps the ephemeral gliding, swooping and soaring aerodynamics of the Raven in flight.

Woolfe’s curious use of materials, including bushfire screen, insect screen, window sash, poly pipe, and aviary and pest mesh -- traditionally used to build or maintain structures that keep the natural world separate -- reflect her interest in the philosophy of the Deep Ecology movement. Deep Ecology advocates for us to radically change our relationship to nature; from one valuing nature solely for its usefulness to one that recognizes nature’s inherent value. Some proponents of the Deep Ecology movement have urged humanity to reconnect more meaningfully to the natural world by embodying animal senses. Birds expertly exploits the tensions inherent in the modern-day human/nature divide by inviting us to embody the spirit of the Raven e feeling of gentle flight and movement, despite the work’s hostile materiality.


Lisa Woolfe lives and works on Cammeraygal land in Sydney's North.

She situates her work in the field of expanded drawing, making two dimensional drawings on paper and three-dimensional drawings that she calls drawings in space. The materials employed in these drawings are as varied as traditional charcoal or ink on paper, hand-drawn animations, video projections, insect screen, wire, poly pipe, bamboo reed and copper.

Lisa Woolfe has a BFA (Hons) from UNSW Art & Design/National Art School, Sydney. She has a Diploma in Fine Arts at Sydney Gallery School Meadowbank TAFE and has studied drawing at Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney. She has completed residencies internationally at Vermont Studio Center USA and in Australia, including at the Hill End Artist Residency and the Grafton Regional Art Gallery Artist in Residence program. Her work has been included as a finalist in the Kedumba Drawing Award, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, Burnie Print Prize and Mosman Art Prize among others. She received the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Award (Noosa Regional Art Gallery) in 2020.

Lisa Bio

Birds workshop space | Open Daily

Casula Powerhouse and Lisa Woolfe invite you into our viewing platform and workshop space. Let your imagination take flight and WORK WITH YOUR HANDS…

Use your hands…

Sketch a bird in flight. Think about using lines and techniques that suggest soaring, flying and gliding.

Get tactile…

Feel the texture of the soft insect screen

Imagine flight…

Cut out a flying bird shape using your drawing as an outline

Move as part of the flock…

Pin your bird shape to the wall and add to the flock of birds in flight.


Image courtesy of Lisa Woolfe

Event Information

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