Talk: Roost: Birds, Place and Art

Mark Cocker

  • Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinksy Building, University of Plymouth

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The habit of gathering at dusk by birds – especially crows, starlings, thrushes, and gulls – shapes their lives, but the birds themselves can also radically alter the physical landscape itself. For centuries naturalists and artists have responded to this remarkable avian behaviour. In turn both the birds and their human observers help inform the way all of us see place and nature. 

In a mixture of words, photographs and moving images, British author and naturalist, Mark Cocker, explores these issues in a presentation uniquely written for The Arts Institute, as part of our exploring landscapes series.

In 2018 Mark released a new book Our Place on the fate of British nature since the beginning of the 20th century, and completed 30 years as a Guardian country diarist. His other books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir.


Date: Tuesday 12 March
Time: 19:00–20:00
Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema
Ticket information: £6/£4.20/Friends free/UoP students free via SPiA

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Today's events

Mark Cocker is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction. He is also a naturalist and environmental tutor, who writes and broadcasts on nature and wildlife in a variety of national media.

For seventeen years, living and working deep in the Norfolk countryside, it became part of his daily writerly routine to take a two-mile walk down to the river from his cottage on the edge of the Norfolk Broads National Park. 

Over the course of those 10,000 daily paces he has learnt the art of patience to observe a butterfly, a bird, flower, bee, deer, otter or fly and to take pleasure in all the other inhabitants of his parish, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Find out more about Mark Cocker.

Exhibition: Birds, Rocks, Rivers, Islands

Renowned for his series of colour landscape photographs, we are delighted to welcome Jem Southam, a leading UK photographer and Professor Emeritus of Photography at the University of Plymouth, to The Levinsky Gallery from 18 January - 16 March.

Southam's subjects are predominately situated in the South West of England and in this exhibition Jem will show for the first time, a number of smaller studies which he has been making while travelling and walking over the past few years. 

This is a partnership exhibition delivered by The Arts Institute and The Box, Plymouth. Find out more about the exhibition.

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