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Rosemarie McGoldrick
Six Hundred Miles in Search of a Sea Eagle

Internet Publication

Vol. 1
pp. 18-21

March 2007

Antennae Vol. 1

My research into art and nature-watching led to an invitation in March 2007 to submit my illustrated text Six Hundred Miles in Search of a Sea Eagle for publication in the online magazine Antennae (ed. Giovanni Aloi, Lecturer at Queen Mary’s College, first edition published in March 2007), available online and circulated to universities and art galleries around the world.

Following my installation for the Chiltern Sculpture Trust on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ re-introduction of the raptor the Red Kite, I wished to investigate another raptor re-introduction - the Sea Eagle in Scotland.

In 2004 I organised a research trip with my family to the Isle of Mull, where eco-tourism companies derive income from taking visitors to see these birds. Despite my best intentions, I never saw a Sea Eagle, and I came back to London dispirited. After making a few dark drawings of Mull in the studio, I re-visited my journal recording the moods and events of the trip and decided to mix writing and illustrations to produce a short art book about not encountering the object of desire.

The fictive/factual text is thus based on the notion that I went a long way to see a bird but never actually saw it - never really saw much at all, in fact, but had to imagine it instead - which turns out to be precisely the lot of the nature artist, who invariably has to fictionalise or "recollect in tranquillity".

I have a finished manuscript of Six Hundred Miles in Search of a Sea Eagle ready for publication in art book format.

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London Metropolitan University