Seabird is a book of moments observed by American still life photographer Bobby Doherty between 2014 and 2018. At first glance, some of the photographs in Seabird feel gloriously oversimplified, objects and situations simmered down to their bare constituent elements; the clearest glass on the reddest tablecloth, the wettest dew on the softest leaf. Doherty is quick to embrace and scrutinise both the meaningful and meaningless of everyday life in equal measure: emotive, bucolic landscapes and portraits sit alongside city trash, animals, food and flowers. Seabird becomes an identifiably human tapestry of images, the unexpected jumps from Hallmark-greeting-card kitsch to wry juxtaposition suggesting the quick shifts of human emotions.
We sequenced thousands of Bobby’s photographs to arrive at this thick book of visual associations. For the cover we turned to a familiar and welcoming American suburban staple - the gingham tablecloth - and commissioned Doherty to photograph and distort it to make a tactile illusion printed back onto linen.