Works from Birding have been exhibited at Art Exchange, Colchester (2024), Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2024).
Birding is a body of work about the human gaze, exploring the optical and psychological processes at play when humans look at nature, particularly focusing on birdwatching and the projections that take place between watcher and bird.

Using moving image and photography to depict wild birds, trained birds and taxidermy specimens, Daniel & Clara engage with the various ways in which we have looked at and studied birds through history and the role images play in understanding our relationship to the natural world.

The history of birdwatching and the history of photography run in interesting parallels, both primarily lens-based activities in which the development of optical tools enabled enhanced human vision. The works here draw on various stages of this history, from the use of early photographic lenses, stereoscopic and lenticular effects and various techniques for enhancing our ways of seeing and capturing the world around us.

BIRDING continues Daniel & Clara’s investigation into the environmental crisis as a psychological crisis, a moment when as a species we must confront the deep-rooted perception that the human is above or separate from nature, and imagine new relationships between the human and the non-human.

This project has been made possible with funding from Arts Council England.


lenticular pictures in wooden frames, 1020 x 690 mm

A series of lenticular pictures, still photographs which transform as the viewer moves – from one side the birdwatchers are visible, from the other we see the subject of their gaze, and when standing at the centre the two images merge, blurring human and bird into a third image.

Taking the foundational cinematic grammar of the cross-fade between two shots, these pictures are moving image works but rather than the movement being created by a projector or screen, it is the viewer's movement that instigates the motion of the image and activates its meaning.

When I Look At You I See Myself

single channel video, 4k, silent, 17 min

A peregrine falcon sits facing us against a soft-focus painted backdrop with faux-landscape scenery; the bird looks around assessing its surroundings, frequently staring down the lens and looking directly at the viewer.

Envisioned as a Warholian relentless stare at a subject, the film presents us with a silent uncut 17 min shot – a portrait of a peregrine looking at us looking at it – as we sit and scrutinise the bird's behaviour we find ourselves reading its gestures and expressions, projecting our human psychology onto this non-human creature. The process of anthropomorphising becomes inescapable, but what does this bird really think and feel in these moments? This is a film about the process of looking and how we narrativise nature based on our own psychological conditions.

This video merges old and new technology, using a contemporary 4k camera and a 19th century-style Petzval lens, based on the first ever portrait lens invented by Joseph Petzval in 1840.


single channel video projection, 4k, 7 min

A motion picture created from static frames, rapidly alternating between the left and right eye images of stereo 3D photographs. A process that gives life to the inanimate taxidermy birds held in Norwich Castle Museum’s collection.

Twitchers is the name given to extreme birdwatchers, the obsessives in search of the rarest sightings. It also refers to the ‘twitching’ of the body, the constant movement in birds and all living things, and here as these dead birds appear to shake and tremble it brings to mind the resurrecting corpses of horror films.

Is This A Bird?

taxidermy birds, polaroid photographs, perspex frame

A series of sculptures which present taxidermy birds alongside a polaroid photograph taken of the specimen in the landscape where they would have lived when alive.

A meditation on life and death, presence and absence, and how taxidermy and photographs can create a sense of presence and liveness even when the subject has died. The title (which refers to Magritte's The Treachery of Images - This is not a pipe) invites the viewer to question what they are looking at – two images that point to life, neither of which contains life – both illusions asking us to suspend our disbelief.

Green Letters

pen and inkjet print on paper, paper clips and photographs, 297 x 210 mm

A series of 12 letters sent out to friends and subscribers throughout 2023, the Green Letters create an account of the artist's observations and encounters with birds throughout the year.

Each letter explores the dynamic between watcher and bird; the act of looking and logging becomes a ritual to confront the limits of the human and take imaginative leaps into the reality of the bird.

J.A. Baker with and without glasses

two c-type photographs in wooden frames, 329 mm x 506 mm

Two almost identical images of J.A. Baker sit side by side. In one he is wearing glasses, in the other he’s not.

Referencing ‘spot-the-difference’ games in which viewers are presented with two images with subtle variations which they must allocate, this piece is about close looking, paying attention and how we read meaning from images.

In some ways Baker was an unlikely birdwatcher due to his poor eyesight, without the technology of glasses and binoculars his vision was limited but then again all human sight can be seen as limited when compared to the great vision of the peregrine falcon, whose sight is eight times better than humans.

Contemporary Artists & Birdwatching - 16 March 2024

An online talk with Daniel & Clara, Andy Holden, Marcus Coates and Hanna Tuulikki, four contemporary artists making work about birds and birdwatching. Hosted by Art Exchange.


21st Feb - 15th Sep 2024   The Watcher and the Bird, Art Exchange, Colchester