The Northern Bald Ibis is one of the rarest birds in the world. Considered as the ancient guide of pilgrims to Mecca, depicted in the oldest hieroglyphs found, and featuring in Noah’s Ark, the bird has significant symbolic and cultural values tied to the region. After having been declared extinct from the wild in 1989, in 2002 a surviving colony of seven was discovered in the Syrian desert near Palmyra. The tiny new colony was intensively studied and protected until the war in Syria broke out, and then disappeared again around the time Palmyra was destroyed in 2014.
Final Flight consists of seven resin/bone casts of the Northern Bald Ibis skull, an archival inkjet print of the last photograph taken over Palmyra of the birds, a hand-milled relief on aluminium of the birds’ migration route from Syria to Ethiopia, and a film capturing the route in bird’s eye view.