Responding to the 2010 theme of ‘Illumination’ Claire Potter Design have been commissioned to produce an innovative light installation which will play homage to two icons of the city – the crumbling West Pier and the starlings which call it home.
Over recent years, the West Pier has developed from a skeleton into a living performance, when every night, thousands of starlings mass and whirl in the skies above the structure - known as a murmuration - creating a beautiful dance before they settle to roost. Whilst this dance is beautiful to watch, and has become as iconic as the West Pier itself, many do not realise how important this roosting site is, and how threatened the starlings actually are.
One of the four specially commissioned pieces for White Night Brighton 2010, ‘mini murmuration’ is a light based installation which takes this ‘performance’ as inspiration, and aims to educate viewers as to the threatened status of the birds and the importance of the site.
A sea-based artwork will be created next to the West Pier itself, with around a hundred Mathmos ‘Windlights’ - miniature wind turbine LEDs – glowing and swaying above an old timber boat, creating a fluctuating shape reminiscent of the murmurations of the starlings.
Red LEDs have been chosen to highlight the Red Listed status of the starlings on the RSPB Species of Conservation Concern list, whilst the number of LEDs used (approximately 80 – 100) will highlight the massive numerical decline of the birds. Only a small ‘cloud’ of LED starlings will sway next to the Pier.