Black Skimmer

Matthew Polluk - Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer

Matthew Polluk

Category Winner

Black Skimmer
Matthew Polluk
Artwork Category
Pen, Ink, 24ct Gold Leaf
Artwork Size (cm)
75 x 57 cm



While many birds rely predominantly on their visual senses to feed, the black skimmer is the only species of bird to forage by sense of touch. The genetic adaptation of their bill enables them to forage in flight by dropping their elongated lower mandible into the water and skimming along until they feel a fish. With a quick snap of their jaws, they whip the fish out of the water.

Polluk captures the beautiful elegance of this foraging technique by skilfully depicting a mirror image of a black skimmer and its reflection as it slices through the surface tension of the dead still water, bathed in the warm golden glow of dawn.


Matthew is a UK based self-taught artist who, after graduating in Film Production & Technology, decided to pursue his lifelong passion of drawing as a full-time career. Inspired by his deep-rooted enthusiasm for wildlife and the natural world, his photo-realistic drawings suspend a moment in animal encounters which he exploits as a visual metaphor for the emotions and feelings in human and personal life experiences. He enjoys the challenge of creating works of art in the less-forgiving medium of ink pen on paper and has recently combined this with an almost ‘abstract’ use of paint to create mixed media works which are as intricately detailed as they are bold.