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Murmurations, Billy Barraclough

Murmurations, Billy Barraclough

'Murmurations' by Billy Barraclough is, in its simplest expression, a study of the shape and form of starling murmurations, which he observed daily throughout winter 2020-21. The project is presented alongside poetry by poet Lue Mac.

Billy's desire to visit this mass gathering of birds came about during the first lockdown of 2020, after he opened a box of photographs left behind by his late father, John Barraclough. In that archive, Billy stumbled upon an album of pictures that showed him as a young boy chasing starlings on the beach in Blackpool.

As the winter lockdown hit, Billy began visiting a local murmuration as an almost daily ritual to reconnect with nature; the long trek to the wetlands serving as a moment to reflect on the surreal situation imposed by the pandemic. At this time of worldwide crisis - when individuals are asked to sacrifice their freedoms for the sake of something larger - murmurations can be seen as an apt metaphor.

The tone is beautifully complemented by a series of poems written by Lue Mac, reflecting on their own experience of watching starlings murmurate at a beach by Little Sea, near their home in rural Dorset, during the same time that Barraclough was making his photographs. The resulting poems touch on themes of separation, reconnection, the moment of touch, and life across seasons.

• Published by Besides Press
• Second Edition 2022
• Stitched binding
• Screen printed soft cover
• 22 pages with 2 gatefolds and 2 large fold-out sections
• 210mm x 280mm