Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drawing Inspiration from Our Feathered Friends for Exhibition; They Are Birds but Not as We Know Them. DAVID WHETSTONE Reports on an Exhibition Which Puts Them Well Up the Pecking Order

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drawing Inspiration from Our Feathered Friends for Exhibition; They Are Birds but Not as We Know Them. DAVID WHETSTONE Reports on an Exhibition Which Puts Them Well Up the Pecking Order

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

BIRDS, we have long been told by those in the know, are the modern descendants of the dinosaurs.

How odd that seemed - that those great stomping beasts of prehistory could be on the same evolutionary tree as the sparrow and the robin.

Then they discovered fossilised dinosaur remains bearing clear evidence of feathers. So it was true!

A new - indeed a first - exhibition by Sean Collins arguably gives our feathered friends their proper status in the scheme of things.

In his brilliant display of pen and ink drawings, it is the birds that dominate.

They tower above the tiny houses and boats of our human world - and, you feel, could easily swallow their inhabitants like so many mealworms or grains of wheat.

"The basic theme of the exhibition is man and bird," says Sean, who lives in Burnopfield.

"But rather than birds living in our world, it's us living in their world."

Undeniably some of the pictures in this exhibition, called Weights and Measures, are a bit sinister. In Ghosts of a Forgotten Past, with a giant crow or raven looming over a small wooden house, there are shades of Hitchcock's horror movie, The Birds.

But other pictures are less threatening, more humorous - as in Duck Lunch, in which fishermen steer their tiny boat around a giant upended duck.

Sean says: "They (the drawings) started off quite cartoony, but as I carried on they became more like actual birds.

"I do have an interest in birds. I wouldn't call myself a twitcher, but I enjoy seeing them.

"Some of them are from photographs I've taken, such as the cormorant on the Isle of Arran."

Sean was born in Middlesbrough and lived in Redcar for a bit before spending most of his formative years in Peterborough.

"Dad was a fireman and we moved around a fair bit," he says.

He went to what is now Camberwell College of Arts, part of the University of the Arts London, and studied fine art and graphic design. …

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