Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Isle of Man 2016
Matt Sewell’s Birds

ISSUE DATE: 24 March 2016
STAMP SIZE: 31.7 x 31.7 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Matt Sewell

Isle of Man Post Office 10 stamps featuring the artwork of Matt Sewell. The 10 iconic illustrations from the celebrated artist and ornithologist showcase the diverse range of birdlife the British Isles, including the Isle of Man. 

Recreated from the original water colours, the images include many popular species, but we are especially pleased that this set of stamps includes the Manx Shearwater as an exclusive design. Matt will be familiar to some as former artist-in-residence on the BBC’s Springwatch Unsprung and his appearances on Countryfile, but his work has reached a global audience through a series of books, publications like the Guardian and The Big Issue and exhibitions  in London, Manchester, New York, Tokyo and Paris. 

Working closely with Isle of Man Post Office, Matt spent time ‘spotting and jotting’, as he puts it, at The Sound and Cregneash village in the south of the Island. The stamps are released to coincide with the publication of his latest book Penguins and Other Seabirds, from publisher Penguin Random House.

As someone who admits to having been obsessed with birds for as long as they can remember, an invitation to see what Manx shores had to offer was too good to miss for Matt, and didn’t disappoint. The Isle of Man is home to dozens of species including fittingly given the subject of Matt’s new book, many seabirds. Numbered among them is the Manx Shearwater, a bird once threatened with a severe decline in numbers which is now once again on the increase. Matt’s Shearwater illustration is a wonderful and exclusive addition to this set. Matt has also written text to accompany the stamp, explaining his lifelong love of birds, how he began drawing them and offering often whimsical descriptions of the species featured. He also talks about his conservation work with charities fighting to protect under-threat bird habitats. 
“Birds are a constant part of my life and I feel lucky to have built a career in the company of such wonderful wildlife,” Matt explains, adding “Stamps are iconic – it’s amazing to see my illustrations featured in this way.” Matt Sewell’s Birds issue is available as a set or in sheet format, in mint condition or Cancelled to Order, a First Day Cover and a Presentation Pack. You can also purchase a Stamp Sheet Album, Matt Sewell Seabirds Book Sheetlet and a special edition of his new book Penguins and Other Seabirds which includes the Seabird Sheetlet and is signed by Matt himself.

Stamp images and description thanks to Isle of Man Post Office

Isle of Man Stamps