Meadows said that 'birds can express a whole range of tragic emotion, they have a vulnerability which made it easy to use them as vehicles for people' (Bowness, p.14). At first glance, Large Flat Bird looks to be powerful and quite stable, but further examination reveals that its neck is taut and strained and its beak open. Its wings are spread and ruffled both for protection and to make itself larger to the invisible predator. Like Elizabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick and others of his generation, Meadows chose to model in plaster rather than clay, which gave his work a hard quality. Although he sometimes used a gold patina, for Large Flat Bird he chose a very dark patina, which accentuates the sombre mood of the piece.
W.J. Strachan, 'The Sculptor and his Drawings 2. Bernard Meadows', Connoisseur, vol.185, no.746, April 1974, pp.288-93
Alan Bowness, Bernard Meadows: Sculpture and Drawings, Much Hadham and London 1995, reproduced p.47, pl.26