See What Takes Shape
Acrylic resin on glass
84 x 120 cm
See What Takes Shape is a series of paintings which trace the movement of a starling murmuration. These flocks comprise hundreds of thousands of starlings (small, black birds) whose unique flight pattern creates undulating, three-dimensional forms across the sky as they head to roost. The flock behaves as a singular “super sensory” organism, in the sense that there is no sole point of command driving the group's movement. Rather, each individual bird serves as a receptor to environmental information (wind and heat currents, potential predators). The information literally ripples through the flock, as each bird is also responding to and following the movement of its nearest neighbors, the seven nearest to be precise, who in turn respond to their seven nearest, creating an exponential chain of movement.
The choice of painting, and doing so in white rather than black, serves to both emphasize and abstract the form: its multiplicity is heightened (as if for each mark, a bird) and its cloud-like form exaggerated. Through the glass the marks cast shadows of themselves, like traces of their past places in the sky, their last movement from fractions of a second past.