an gheabhróg – Book walkthrough

Due to human activity, global temperatures are rising. In the Arctic, temperatures are rising twice as fast compared to the rest of the world and the ice caps are melting. Coastlines are places where human impact on the environment is…

Due to human activity, global temperatures are rising. In the Arctic, temperatures are rising twice as fast compared to the rest of the world and the ice caps are melting. Coastlines are places where human impact on the environment is especially visible, through flooding caused by rising sea levels, pollution entering the ocean and smog-choked coastal cities. As well as this many species of birds and other animals are becoming endangered due to our activity. For most people these devastating impacts are far removed from their daily lives. The Arctic Tern is an incredible species of bird that has the largest migration of any other animal on the planet, flying from the Arctic to the Antarctic every year, some flying up to 90,000km.
The aim of this project is to create an evocative piece about the impacts of human activity on the environment through the story of the Arctic Tern’s migration. It is partially aimed at those who feel that climate change is ‘not their problem’ or who cannot relate to the real effects of human impact on the environment, as they are disconnected from them. The publication contains a series of examples of environmental impact located on the route of the Arctic Terns migration. This provides an imagined perspective of the Tern and a broad perspective of human impact on the environment in various areas. A map shows the actual route of a tern that was tagged with a geolocator and highlights a few points on this route indicating the location of the articles. The articles cover broad locations, but these points serve as a general indication of location and navigation system for the book itself. The width of the spread is divided according to the length of the journey and vertical lines indicate the readers position along it. As some stretches of the journey take much longer than others, this line does not move through at an even pace, but rather at the pace of the bird. This line meets the longitude degree of the journey, also divided according to the pace of the bird, allowing users to see where they are by referring to the map.
The beauty of the bird and the beauty of nature will be represented throughout the publication by a poem. The poem was commissioned specifically for this book, written by accomplished poet Marcus Mac Conghail. The poem is entitled “an gheabhróg” meaning simply “the tern”. It speaks about the tern and the journey in a very lyrical and beautiful fashion. The poets take on the idea gave a more retrospective look on the world after nature has been destroyed by our impact on the environment. The Irish language was fitting as it is has a lyrical and rhythmic quality with soft tones. As well as this the bird flies through and nests in Ireland. As the article at the Arctic Circle, where the tern nests during the summer, ends the poem begins, taking flight as the tern would at the end of July. The poem flows through thee publication, ignoring the body text which represents the human impact on the environment. To represent this, the body text is set in a sans serif typeface and is justified, creating a uniform block which does not move from page to page. This block is in stark contrast to the serif, italic typeface and Irish language used for the poem, as the poem represents the beauty of nature. The enjoyment of the rhythm and pace in the poem should be interrupted and disturbed by the body text which overlaps the poem in places.
The books cover usesx the grey found on the wing tip of the tern with a lighter grey for the endpaper, relating to the grey of the centre of the wing of the tern. On the spine, the title is printed in the colour of the beak. The inner pages have a light, smooth and delicate feel relating to the delicacy of the bird.