Blue Sky Thinking, (2019) by Patrick Goddard is a powerful and visually impressive sculpture conceived as a floor-based installation. It is made up of 180 lead sculptures, with lead recycled from London roofs, each depicting the form of a Ring-necked Parakeet. Blue Sky Thinking addresses themes of migration, identity and climate emergency. 

The physical beauty of each individual bird is particularly arresting, and gives the work a mesmeric and absorbing quality. Parakeets are not an indigenous species to the UK, however they have become acclimatised in certain areas, primarily in London parks and gardens. Their increased familiarity has led to associations with urban myth, and their vivid plumage and haunting calls can suggest a surreal and exotic presence in the urban streetscapes of London.

Blue Sky Thinking goes on display with work from the Ulster Museum’s internationally important 20th Century and Contemporary Art collection including Birdman by Elisabeth Frink, HOME by Willie Doherty and Silent Echoes, a sound sculpture by Bill Fontana.

Image: Patrick Goddard (born 1984) Blue Sky Thinking, 2019. Recycled lead in 180 unique parts. Purchased by National Museums NI 2020, with the assistance of a grant from the Art Fund.

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