Paula Rego's work is figurative, often drawing on childhood experience, nursery rhymes and legend to create narratives which are sinister and disturbing. They frequently suggest complex psychological tensions behind the apparently innocent interaction between the characters and animals she depicts. She has said that she paints in order "to give terror a face". Her choice of subject for this work and the character with which she imbues it, clearly reflect a typical Rego preoccupation.
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.