Tabatha Forbes, Black-back gulls



For over a decade, Dr Tabatha Forbes has investigated the empirical practices of botanical and natural history illustration and the processes of collection, identification and introduction of flora and fauna. Forbes' recent work combines observational studies with her doctoral research which considers place, both at large and intimately through painting, post-photographic practice and video.


For each of Seed Gallery’s annual exhibitions, Forbes has chosen to focus on a particular NZ bird. Now living in Opunake, on the southwest coast of Taranaki, Forbes has chosen a common coastal bird, the karoro / black-backed gull, as the subject of her ten pieces for Push Play. Forbes has a particular affinity with the black-backed gull as she cared for an injured one this past year.

Exhibiting since 1991, Forbes has works in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, the U.S.A and the U.K. In 2005 she was awarded the ‘Wild Creations’ CNZ/DOC residency which took her to Southland to extend her research, and she completed a doctorate in fine arts in 2017.