Sunderland swan man unveils exhibition on the birds

Artist Wayne Badresingh chats about his swan pictures with Mayor of Seaham Barbara Ramshaw and her consort Counc. Brian Allen
Artist Wayne Badresingh chats about his swan pictures with Mayor of Seaham Barbara Ramshaw and her consort Counc. Brian Allen
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A DECADE spent following the lives of swans on Wearside is being chronicled in a unique art exhibition.

Artist Wayne Badresingh has visited swans at Herrington Country Park almost every day for the last 10 years, providing him with the inspiration for a series of thought-provoking paintings.

Artist Wayne Badresingh at Herrington Country Park with the swans

Artist Wayne Badresingh at Herrington Country Park with the swans

Armed with a bag of grain, the 47-year-old has visited the park’s lake to feed and care for the swans that live there.

During that time, he has witnessed cygnets being born, watched them grow into swans and seen several die.

He has also been devastated by the cruel acts that have seen swans injured and killed at the hands of yobs.

Wayne, of Penshaw, said: “Having been around these swans for 10 years, I’ve shared and documented their highs and lows, births and deaths.

“It’s been an emotional and intense journey, providing me with a wealth of inspiration to unleash in my art.

“Although wildlife themed, this is not just a wildlife exhibition featuring swans. It’s as much a social commentary of what happens when animals come into contact with mankind – sometimes a celebration, more often dark tragedies that go unnoticed.”

As well as putting his paintings on display for his 2012 Mute exhibition, Wayne has also produced a booklet to accompany the paintings and explain the story behind each one.

He will be showcasing a series of other paintings and video footage from the park called The Tale of A Freaky Duck.

“Since the dawn of mankind, we have learned lessons from the creatures that surround us,” Wayne said.

“My time with the swans has made me appreciate the simplest things we take for granted, like being able to sleep safely in our own beds.

“Fearing the worst for this reason, each day, come rain or shine, I go into their home with a bag of grain.

“Sadly, already most of the animals featured in 2012 Mute are no longer with us, which makes it even more emotional.

“It makes you realise how fragile and short life can be, sensitive to the passing of time.

“Everything I paint is a self-portrait, a moment in time, maybe with these paintings the unnoticed can live again.”

The exhibition, 2012 Mute, can be seen at Studio Q, Nile Street, from May 25 to 27.

Twitter: @sunechochief

Wayne to the rescue

WAYNE has come to the rescue of a string of injured swans.

He has seen nests being attacked, swans left for dead, cygnets tangled in fishing wire and watched drunken yobs attacking them.

He has also come across a family of swans that were shot with an airgun.

Several times, he has had to drive injured swans to a bird sanctuary in Berwick for life-saving surgery.