British Birds of Prey, 2022

Pigment on Hahnemuhle 100% α-cellulose, laid finished rice paper
80 x 60 x 14 cm
Eagle owl
Honey buzzard
Red kite
Golden eagle
Barn owl
Peregrine falcon

A continuation of the Ritual for Reconciliation photo series, 2013, This work presents photographic portraits of some of the most iconic birds of Britain. Coates’ photographs capture these portraits in a traditionally anthropomorphic way, focussing on facial details, to reveal the beauty and personalities of these individual beings. Once he has produced and printed the ‘perfect’ print, Coates scrunches it between his hands into a ball, which he unfolds and presents. It is an intuitive action that Coates describes as ‘making mortal’, an embodiment of the vulnerability and human impact on these threatened birds.