A murmuration of starlings is breath-taking to witness. Like clouds of smoke, large groups of starlings roll and churn through the dusk, creating ever-changing shapes across the sky.
It is believed that murmurations are a defensive behaviour to confuse predators. As your eyes struggle to make sense of the shape-shifting display it becomes nearly impossible to pick out individual birds. In groups sometimes numbering tens of thousands, the birds move as one, coursing through the air at breakneck speeds and turning on an instant. Synchronised and mesmerising, it seems almost choreographed.
My new piece, Murmurations, contains some 3,300 individual starlings, capturing a moment in time that we would not normally be able to appreciate with the naked eye.
The work was created by first sourcing a number of images of starlings in flight, and studying their shapes on the wing. Each individual bird was then printed in greyscale to a metallic finish card. A sense of movement is maintained by the materials and the construction of the piece. The birds are mounted on pins at varying heights off the canvas, giving the piece a depth of field, and the reflective quality of the card allows the birds to have a playful relationship to the ambient light.
Murmurations also has a unique relationship with the environment in which it is placed, transitioning as the ambient light changes and as the viewer moves. It captures the awe-inspiring scale and movement of one of the greatest visual displays in nature. Its neutral colour palette making it inhabit a rather mysterious, dreamlike world.
The frame is wood finished in F&B ‘Off Black’ with a matt finish with a bevelled inner edge.
Dimensions: (h) 1620mm x (w) 1200mm, (d) 90mm
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