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Starling Sculpture Shocker on Shapwick Heath!

Installation Day – Thursday 21 May

Following on from the last post, I managed to fit all the gubbins into my car in one go! Amazing!

car copy

It was a beautiful day and the guys from the Avalon Marshes dug the pits for my bamboos.


Then I took a little time to arrange the birds.

me installing

I was so pleased with the finished installation and thought the starlings have come early to the marshes and look fabulous in their natural environment! When the grasses grow up they will blend in even more and some will be hidden for a while at least until the winter. The copper sheet of the beaks will change colour from copper to verdigris green. I was looking forward to recording the changes.

I wondered what the real starlings would think of them when they returned in the autumn!









me and starlings

Launch Day – Sunday 24th May

I was feeling very disheartened today having heard the news yesterday that a bamboo was snapped and a starling had been stolen. I didn’t sleep last night until the birds started to sing and I had listened to them for half an hour. What if the thieves returned during the night and stole the rest of them? And were they stolen or thrown in the lake? On arrival at the gallery I looked at photographic evidence before I took a group of students to look at them and discovered that not one but two had been stolen!

Here are some of my students who helped make them (apart from those two little imps!)

group 2 starlings

The two stolen starlings are the first and last in the flight path, here you can see where they once were.

Sunday 2 missing

So rather than leaving them out there for someone to keep picking them off like 21 green bottles (now 19) we decided to bring them into the safety of the gallery until we can find them a more secure spot outside.

So here they are where at the very least they cast beautiful shadows when the sun shines!

starlings in gallery

There are several sculptures by my collegues at Somerset Crafts along the trail which I will share with you at some point when I get some good photos. Maybe then I’ll have some news about where the starlings will go next!

But for now if you see a wayward mosaic starling in someone’s garden or on ebay please let me know.


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  1. So sad someone thinks it OK to take the birds! They could have come everyday to enjoy them, as we did when helping Kate create them.

  2. That is very sad news. They looked so beautiful in a natural habitat.

  3. Kate, I found the link to your project on Helen Nock’s page and loved seeing the photos of your process. I am beginning various community projects at our community garden, and theft or vandalism has been on my mind, so I am so sorry to hear of the loss of the two starlings. This is a wonderful project and I wish for your flock a safe and public place to fly!

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