artwork of kaka with glasses

Professor Polly at home in her parlour

So what's going on here? We have a super-intelligent parrot - Polly to her friends, but Professor to her students - at home and trying to relax but the kids are testing out their camera skills. We've all been there...

There's something about the aesthetic of old family photographs that I perversely love - the retro wallpapers, the jaunty angles and lack of focus, the look of terror on the poor victims, the fashion faux pas - and of course the memories - they're a delight to relive.  And I found some wonderfully cringing examples in my old family photo archive to share so you can perhaps see where I'm coming from with lovely Polly.



Frieda Kahlo


"Frida Kahlo on a Bench" (1938) by Nickolas Muray.

When creating this piece, I was also inspired by this iconic photo of Frieda Kahlo against a gorgeous floral green wallpaper. I couldn't just use any wallpaper for Polly though, so I learned how to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop and created one especially for her parlour using imagery from related pieces (including "It's about time"). But why is the wallpaper ripped and shredded in places? One look inside a kākā nestbox and you'll soon understand! Check out the video below...

Polly was also inspired by a friend who became one of New Zealand's youngest female professors - funnily enough her daughter is also named Polly, but that is just a happy coincidence. I've never quite found out what Polly's specialty is but it has been suggested she is probably a polyglot or a polymath. 

Find out more about parrot intelligence and "bird brains" in this earlier blog about Polly...

​It's been a delight to hear from many women that they're seeing themselves in a mirror when they see Polly. I do find her very relatable with her gorgeous grey hairdo, proud schnoz, and quizzical eyes that never miss a trick. 
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1 comment

Great read thank yyou

Kayla W09 Mar 2021

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