‘Visiting this shoreline, aware that sky and ocean might one day be clear of their presence, that I might soon stroll round here and find both fish and fowl have disappeared.’ extract from ‘Terns’
Birdfall is a collaboration of poetry and art by Donald S. Murray and Douglas Robertson.
The pair have woven a poetic journey along the coast, both real and imaginary, where they encounter the birdlife of the strand, rock pool and cliffs, from the elegant flight of Terns and Lapwings to the winged menace of marauding Skuas and Black-backed Gulls.
The poetry and art in the exhibition encourages the viewer to take a fresh look at the familiar birds of our coastline but also takes care to underline the fragile and delicate nature of the lives of our shorebirds, which have undergone dramatic reductions in their populations in recent years.
In keeping with Murray and Robertson’s previous collaborations, there is a tongue-in-cheek element to the work. Along with the familiar birds of sea and shore, the viewer will come face to face with flocks of new species from the imagination of the poet and artist including the Raukmar, secretly inhabiting the pebbles on the beach, or the Fearmin’s twisted form among the bladder wrack, and the hitch-hiking and map drawing travels of the diminutive Oblomov.
The exhibition also includes drawings from Donald’s latest book, The Dark Stuff, published by Bloomsbury in April 2018.
Donald S. Murray and Douglas Robertson have worked on a number of collaborations over the last ten years including two volumes of prose and poetry, The Guga Stone (Luath) and SY Story (Birlinn), and Herring Tales: How the Silver Darlings Shaped Human Taste and History and Dark Stuff: Stories from the Peatlands (Bloomsbury).
The Guga Stone and Herring Tales were included in the Guardian’s Best Nature Books of 2013 and 2015.