Jeremy Deller – Turner Prize winner and Hen Harrier enthusiast

Jeremy Deller limited edition poster (I’ve got one!) available at £100 and signed by the artist.


dellerLast week I arranged to meet Jeremy Deller to talk about Hen Harriers.  We met in London and had a coffee together.

I’ve never met a Turner Prize (2004) winner before, nor someone who has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I wanted to talk to Jeremy about his amazing idea of an enormous mural of a Hen Harrier clutching a Range Rover which referenced the reported events at Sandringham in October 2007.

We talked about the Sandringham case from our different perspectives and we talked about Hen Harriers.  Jeremy has never seen a Hen Harrier but he thinks they are wonderful birds. I wonder whether one day I could show him one?

The mural at the Venice Biennale was even larger than the version now on show at the Turner Contemporary at Margate.  The gallery in which it was exhibited was a the top of what passes for a hill in Venice and as the doors opened the image of the Hen Harrier could be seen from outside the gallery at a distance of 150m.  Over 400,000 people saw the Hen Harrier mural in Venice and it has been seen by another 200,000 people in subsequent exhibitions. That’s a lot of people who have been exposed to a striking image of a striking bird and the striking story of what was reported to have happened to two of them in Norfolk in 2007 which I regard as the most famous unsolved wildlife crime in the UK.

Jeremy had heard about Hen Harrier Day and was very supportive of what we are doing.

He may be the only Turner Prize winner to have signed our e-petition on banning driven grouse shooting.

Here’s another controversial image by Deller which includes a Hen Harrier entitled Monarchs of the Glen (Richard Benyon MP has an unexpected meeting on his grouse moor with some raptors ).


See the links here and here for more on this and on the ex-Minister’s grouse moor.

And here is that Hen Harrier mural with Mandy (who painted some of the bird’s right wing).





13 Replies to “Jeremy Deller – Turner Prize winner and Hen Harrier enthusiast”

  1. There are so many different ways to reach people with the Hen Harrier message, and each different way will engage different people. And the more people talking about them the more hopeful I feel about the future.

    1. Findlay – absolutely true. And that is one reason why your efforts are so valuable – it’s because you say things differently from a bunch of middle-aged men or women and you will reach a different audience. All power to you (and Harry!)(and your brother and parents).

      Another reason that your efforts are so valuable is that you are such a good communicator – you’ll be great when you are old and grey too (will you ever be grey I wonder?).

      Looking forward to seeing you all fairly soon (and thanks again for the private message via Twitter – exciting news).

  2. Just got back from france to the latest ‘Nature’s Voice’ and Stuart Winter’s article trying to justify licensing. I’m afraid it didn’t really work for me – no more than ‘steady as she goes’ and working hard to stay within the Westminster bubble has worked for conservation as a whole with a Government that worse than not caring sees the environment as the enemy of what it belives in.

    Licensing will go the way of the ESA’s – carefully crafted conditions that mean the landowners can go on doing pretty much what they want to. It could work, though, with an outcome based approach – HH nest in the spring, Grouse are shot in the autumn. How about licenses issued in July only to Grouse moors that can prove they have fledged at least one brood of Hen Harriers ?

  3. Jeremy Deller is public school-educated, like myself, and further proof that it’s not just about ‘us versus them’.

    People, from all walks of life, are just fed up of the devastation that the shooting community wreaks upon our birds of prey.

  4. Roderick – Still no good. The lads are cleaning the moor July and early August ready for the ‘Glorious’. Butts put into shape. Many hours on the moor making sure there are no harriers or Short eared Owls to flush the Red Grouse away from the butts. Any problems on a shoot mean less cash for them on their big pay days. Better clean it out of the way before hand!

  5. Mark, I’ve nicked that HH mural and made it my twitter id-photo. Hope you don’t mind. The Richard Benyon one looks too gruesome!

  6. If Deller wants to see Hen Harriers tell him to go to Langholm Grouse Moor where there were 68 resident at the last count. Only 18 miles from Carlisle.

  7. Keith – your comment could equally apply to this nasty, little organisation called Songbird Survival. I’ve just had a look at your website – what an ecologically ignorant bunch you are. And you are still banging on about sparrowhawks and grey squirrels when your own funded research (carried out by the BTO in 2010) said this –

    “In the biggest ever analysis of songbirds and their predators, published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology, scientists look at the role of predators in the decline of species such as Bullfinch and Yellowhammer. Whilst a small number of associations may suggest significant negative effects between predator and prey species, for the majority of the songbird species examined there is no evidence that increases in common avian predators or Grey Squirrels are associated with large-scale population declines.”

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