October, as every other month, will be busy in Bristol. It started with cranes dancing on the Harbourside and events to look forward to include Bristol Cocktail Week (19th to 25th October) and Circus City (8th to 31st October), as well as A Bristol Murmuration, a stunning sculptural installation that will appear on Durdham Downs from 17th to 25th October.
A Bristol Murmuration is a project by Bristol-based clay artist Zoe Cameron in response to the sharp decline in starling numbers and the absence of their once familiar aerial displays. Aiming to bring people together creatively to celebrate wildlife, use green spaces, and find common ground, she has worked with 1000 local people from three wards of Bristol, each of whom has sculpted a clay starling.
The birds have been low-fired with bricks (thanks to Ibstock Bricks at Cattybrook) and until installation will be stored in recycled vegetable boxes. Tools were made from old milk cartons and other household items and other materials have been sourced from the Children’s Scrapstore.
Once the installation is in place, each bird individually mounted on locally sourced coppiced hazel poles, volunteers (working in two hour shifts and rewarded with cake) will staff a bird hide (made from salvaged wood) to loan out binoculars.
It will open on Saturday 17th October when a procession to the birds will leave Cafe Retreat on the Downs at 10.30AM. On Sunday 18th October there will be a Starling Stroll, a guided walk led by Richard Bland from the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge, from 10am until 12pm. The latter is free but pre-booking is essential – ring 0117 903 0609 or email email@example.com.
Zoe is not the only Bristol artist to be inspired by birds; in The Bristol Shop you will find a wide variety of avian art including:
Flamingo Facts Typographic Screen Print by Susan Taylor (£28.75)
Yellow bird and Peach Peacock both by Rebekah Marshall (£18.89 each)
Dr Budgie by Rosie Webb (£15)