Starling Love Brighton Palace Pier



Starling Love Brighton Palace Pier

View of Brighton Seafront from the deck of the Palace Pier where a crowd of people have gathered just before sunset to watch the starling murmuration.

Bird Lover

I first presented this captivating print on the enchanting date of February 14, 2024, Valentine’s Day. For this reason I incorporated in the title the word “love,” encapsulating its myriad forms and manifestations. Love extends its embrace to nature’s wonders, the graceful sky dance of starlings, and the rhythmic heartbeat of the sea. My print depicts the essence of the breathtaking landscapes at sunset, reminiscent of my own haven on Brighton Seafront.

This print is a celebration of love in its multifaceted glory. Love between individuals, the cherished bonds of family, the warmth shared among partners and friends, and the profound love directed inward, personified by the solitary figure gazing in sheer awe at the world, feeling the pulse of life.

Delving into the intricate portrayal of starlings, I immersed myself in the study of their behaviour and forms through direct observation. At the Palace Pier, just before the sun disappears below the horizon, I closely observed these remarkable birds as they orchestrated mesmerising murmurations. My collection of study sketches, aptly named ‘Starlings in Motion,’ captures the myriad shapes they assume. Gliding, ascending, turning, flying straight towards you, hovering over the sea waves, or soaring high in the sky.

The figures within my print, present alongside me during these starling-watching soirees, were indispensable additions to complete the narrative of shared experiences among fellow bird enthusiasts. Beyond a visual spectacle, it carries a potent message; a reminder of our duty to coexist harmoniously with nature enveloping us, urging us to be stewards of its well-being.

Brighton Seafront

Brighton Palace Pier, commonly known as Brighton Pier or the Palace Pier opened its gates in 1899. It was the third pier to be constructed in Brighton after the Royal Suspension Chain Pier and the West Pier and is now the only one still in operation. Every winter starlings come to roost under the deck of the pier attracting many visitors and bird lovers.

Starling Art

Starlings are small passerine birds from the Sturnidae family. The name “Sturnidae” comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Starlings are native to Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific is the common starling or myna which is indeed very common.

Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. They eat insects and fruit. Several species live around human habitation and are effectively omnivores. Plumage of many species is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes and lay blue or white eggs. Starlings have diverse and complex vocalisations, the birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls and are the subject of research into the evolution of human language.

Starling Murmuration

Murmurations are huge groups of starlings that twist, turn, swoop and swirl across the sky in beautiful shape-shifting clouds.

Just before dusk, small groups of starlings from the same area come together above a communal roosting site. The group grows ever larger, moving in unison in an aerial dance that casts gorgeous shapes against the waning daylight. Scientists believe that murmurations offer safety in numbers giving protection from predators like peregrine falcons that are attracted by the sheer number of birds. After all, it can’t be easy to single out just one starling from a whirling group of hundreds or even thousands! Experts still aren’t completely sure how each starling knows which way to turn without bumping into the others.

Photograph of print base drawings. I make these formats with calligraphic brushes, fine-line markers, and other tools; in watercolour, ink and charcoal and on separate sheets of A3 size marker paper. These are scanned and form the main line work and patterns in the final print.
‘Starling Love Brighton Palace Pier’. Framed art print A1 size edition.

Additional information

Dimensions N/A
Print sizes: standard landscape

Art print A0 size landscape, Art print A1 size landscape, Art print A2 size landscape, Art print A3 size landscape, Art print A4 size landscape

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