Angela Harding, Printmaker
Blackbird and Berry
Blackbirds and Mulberry Tree
Gannets at Rathlin Island
Summer Foxes at Marske Hall
Nightjar and Sea
Black Throated Diver at St Kilda
British birds have inspired my images since my days as a student, when I would gather roadkill on my cycle to college and then spend hours drawing them and turning the drawings into etchings. I have a love for familiar garden birds, like the gaggle of sparrows that live in the ivy at the front of the house, and the blackbirds that seem to feel they own the garden. I also love curlews, redshanks and other wetland and sea birds that we see when my partner and I travel further afield to Norfolk, Suffolk and Cornwall. I always take a sketchbook on these trips and record in scribbles the birds we see, and later in the studio I develop these into more formal designs. I do not work directly from life now, as I did when I was a student, but instead I use a combination of drawing and imagination. I like to set the image, whether of a bird or an animal, within a definite location, such as the Orford Hares or the Curlew at Morston.
I try to combine the atmosphere of the place and the shape of the bird or animal to make a successful image. Blackbirds often feature in my prints: I have illustrated them helping themselves to the fruit that I grow, or nesting in the rose bush by the front garden. I love the strength of their form, the black against green. The images I make are always rooted in something I have seen, or inspired by something I have read.
Angela Harding's work features on the cover of Issue 301 of Resurgence & Ecologist and complements Mark Constantine's article on the power of birdsong.