It is a wonderful thing that the glossy plumage of the Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a remarkable match to carborundum (SiC), and that the two share such a black sheen, metallic, almost other-worldly. That they almost share a taxonomic name is another delicious conceit.

Phalacrocorax carbo (great cormorant) in pencil and ink (2016)

The cormorant is often described as a primitive-looking bird and it seems to match the primitive lustre of silicon carbide – with its strange, fetishistic appearance. In the morning and evening, literally hundreds of these reptilian birds can be seen leaving and entering the roost at Hale Decoy like slow-moving black zeppelins.

In this work I have sent the bird skirting over the top of the Decoy across a gloomy sky, the crooked neck seems to echo the broken back of the line of trees in the distance.

Pen, pencil and ink on watercolour paper, 36 x25cm