My name is Jenny Steer and I am an artist and photographer based in Exeter.
I started the project about gulls following a lifelong love of them. However, I was becoming increasingly aware of hostility from the human community. I wanted to redress this and so instead of focussing on the public’s negative attitudes and fighting that I decided to try and “Be the change I want to see” that Gandhi talked of. So, I started with the website to encourage other’s like me who love all life to come and share positive stories of their encounters with these amazing creatures.
I’d look out of my second floor window in Exeter to see them soaring and singing! Enthralled by their beauty and boldness I started to photograph a particular breeding pair of Herring Gulls. They had made a chimney nest just about viewable from my window.
I have been taking photographs out of my window – particularly of a Herring Gull pair. I visit the river and other parts of Devon capturing them at play and in flight. My idea is to culminate in an exhibition and to engage with people to show them what intelligent and beautiful birds these are. I am learning all the time and it’s great to speak to others who feel the same.
I have an idea to assemble gull loving people in places of more extreme negativity towards the gulls with a loving ‘happening’ or flash mob. Like bringing easels and painting or drawing the gulls. Or, writing poetry inspired by the beauty of the gulls. I feel these negative places need a boost of positive love energy – for both the gulls and the people who are clearly being damaged by their attitudes. I think it would really be a shock to anti-gull people to not encounter a negative retort. Please contact me and help to become a part of this!
Continuing thanks to RSPB – Tony Whitehead; Gull expert – Peter Rock; Steve Waite – Devon Bird Recorder;