Creating the giant Kirklees Cuckoo – a withNature2020 project

Help create the giant Kirklees Cuckoo! Part of withNature2020 and a collaboration between Our Biennale, Kirklees Culture Declares, Kirklees Museums and The Children’s Art School, a 20m x 20m image of a cuckoo will be created by young artists using donated clothing and cloth.


About the Kirklees Cuckoo – a withNature2020 project

It started with young artists from The Children’s Art School (aged 5-16 years) drawing birds that are at risk of extinction in Kirklees: cuckoo, twite, ring ouzel, curlew, yellowhammer:

Writer Rob Cowen chose the cuckoo to be used at the next stage of the project inspired by these drawings by Tia Harley (14) and Frances Short (13):

On Saturday 22nd May 2021 people from all over the world will create images of endangered animals and plants using clothing donated by local communities. The giant images will be photographed from the sky bringing together a myriad of pictures, from Taiwan to Brazil and from USA to New Zealand.

All the countries involved will be choosing an animal or plant at risk of extinction in their local area. Here in Kirklees, our image of the endangered cuckoo will be created at Stirley Community Farm by The Children’s Art School’s 11+ year olds. The young artists, Tia and Frances, have collaborated to create the final image to be recreated on the day:

This image of the cuckoo will be used to create a 20m x 20m replica at the farm as part of the global withNature2020 project by British artist Emma K Thomas, who came up with this idea in response to the extinction crisis. It has been developed by a host of volunteers all over the world and is an official action under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

Get involved

Local communities and schools can get involved by donating the items of clothing in the colours needed to complete the Kirklees Cuckoo on the ground by choosing one, or many squares, from a picture of the artwork.

Send any questions about donating clothing to –

Draw a cuckoo for an exhibition

Children and young people from all over Kirklees are also invited to send their drawings of one of the shortlist of five birds at risk in our area: cuckoo, twite, ring ouzel, curlew and yellowhammer.

ALL drawings will be exhibited in our Maker World space from May 22nd- May 30th.

Click here for the classroom resource for drawing the Cuckoo

Here are some images for inspiration: