Artists' work showcases Northumberland bird life
Father and daughter artists, Paul and Katie Henery, have teamed up with the RSPB to create The Coquet Road, a new exhibition inspired by the roseate terns and the thousands of other seabirds that nest off the coast of Northumberland.
The exhibition, which runs from July 14 to September 8, is the inaugural show of Niche Gallery in Broomhill and features paintings, sketches and drawings on sea charts and vintage maps. The work takes viewers on a journey on the Coquet Road from Amble harbour across the one mile stretch of North Sea to Coquet Island, an RSPB reserve, which is home to thousands of beautiful and endangered seabirds including puffins and roseate terns.
Since the island can’t be visited by the public, the exhibition fuses scientific research with fine art to give a unique insight into the work of the wardens, the lives of the birds and the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the vibrant seabird colony.
Coquet Island is home to the most endangered seabird in Europe, the roseate tern and is the only UK breeding colony.
Paul Morrison, head RSPB warden for Coquet Island said: “Coquet Island is unique in the UK because it hosts the sole UK colony of roseate terns, Britain’s rarest nesting seabird. Because of the special protection afforded to these endangered birds, it’s not possible to allow access to this internationally important reserve without a special license.
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“We are always looking to find ways of sharing Coquet Island with the general public and this project allows us to observe and capture the life and behaviour of the roseate tern in an innovative and artistic way. Paul Henery was the police wildlife crime officer who safeguarded Coquet Island for many years, so it’s appropriate that his involvement now turns to recording the behaviour and beauty of these birds for everyone to enjoy.”
The exhibition also marks the opening of Paul and Katie’s new gallery and studios Niche Gallery @ The Old Bath House, North Broomhill.
Paul said: “I was privileged to be able to spend time on Coquet Island with special permission from the RSPB and Natural England. It was incredible to enter the lives of four species of tern, thousands of puffins, kittiwakes and fulmars, and in particular the magnificent roseate terns. The ‘rosys’, with long elegant tail streamers and a breast blushed with pink satin are the star of this special place. Being able to sketch and paint the birds in the ever changing light and weather and to transfer those images onto paper and canvas will create some long lasting memories for me.”
Katie said: “My work is largely inspired by my love for wildlife, landscape and the marine environment and my passion to conserve it through art.”