This work was originally made in plaster.
The geometry of the form derives from the fact that the solid plaster was carved rather than modelled when still wet. This bronze was cast in the 1960s and the surface colouring (patination) was by Henry Moore.
The flat planes and strong lines were first conceived in energetic drawings. They
create a sense of the momentum of the diving bird. The sculpture reflects Gaudier's fascination with both animal life and the mechanistic forms of the new machine age. The abstracted bird and torpedo-like fish have been read as symbols of the war that began in 1914.