This etching is from a set of nine prints published in 1994 by the Byam Shaw School of Art to raise funds for its student scholarship and bursary fund. The participants generously donated their work and the portfolio was printed in an edition of eighty. The artists were asked to contribute an image reflecting one of the birds of London. The purpose was not to produce an ornithological record but to provide a unifying theme through which the individual temperaments and styles of this group of distinguished artists could be expressed.
The portfolio was purchased for the University by the Friends of the Mead.
John Bellany's Gull exemplifies his style which has been described as being within the Northern European Expressionist-Realist tradition. His work also often incorporates a personal vocabulary of symbols often derived from his childhood experience of life in a fishing community in which the seagull frequently appears.