Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art


View More:


bad bird #5



Lynne Roberts-Goodwin


1954 -


In recent years Lynne Roberts-Goodwin has received a number of awards and grants through various research institutes, museums and scientists in the field that have enabled her to study wildlife in India, America, Australia and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She has documented endangered pieces, such as birds of prey, migratory birds and quarantined species. Her aim is to form links between the sciences and the visual arts through a conceptual process of artistic classification, which is equally motivated by the aesthetics of images, illusion and the appearance of surfaces. For instance, for ‘Blindfold’, her exhibition in the AGNSW Contemporary Project Space in 1997, Roberts-Goodwin documented the Wapiti (red deer) and its trade from rural Australia to Seoul, Korea. A visual, almost liminal uncertainty pervaded these images of deer, revealing sight, and therefore understanding, as obscured, blinded.

‘bad bird #5’ is part of a series of 85 images produced while Roberts-Goodwin was on a residency through the Institute of Electronic Art, New York, in 2001. From an exhibition entitled ‘Landings’, it further develops the imaging of our interdependent relationship with animals, and how we translate human feelings to the natural world. Printed on metallic paper to enhance the sheen of the feathers, ‘bad bird #5’ is utterly ambiguous. The shape is birdlike mainly because it is feathered. With its face against the wall we cannot tell what kind of bird it is, or indeed if it is alive. Roberts-Goodwin sees the bad-bird suite as being anti-portraits which highlight our concerns with interpreting and defining.

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007




Media category


Materials used

digital photograph printed on metallic paper




117.5 x 86.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors' Program 2002


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Lynne Roberts-Goodwin

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

  • Landings, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Redfern, 24 Apr 2002–18 May 2002

  • Joy before the object, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Sep 2013–02 Feb 2014

Referenced in 2 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2003 [for the year ended 30 June 2003], 'Year in review', pg.14-35, Sydney, 2003, 20.

Natasha Bullock, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Time - memory - place', pg.288-311, Sydney, 2007, 292 (colour illus.), 294, 309 (colour illus.).