Ever since I can remember, I've been in love with this photography series Black Sun by Danish photographer Søren Solkær, which captures the large murmurations of starlings that Søren has been documenting for several years all over Europe, starting out in the landscape of his childhood.
"This project has taken me back to the landscape of my childhood and youth in the marshlands of Southern Denmark. A place where as many as one million starlings gather in the spring and fall, prior to onwards migration, and set the stage for one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena. As the countless birds congregate in large murmurations before collectively settling in the reeds at dusk they put on an incredible show of collaboration and performance skills. And now and then, by the added drama of attacking birds of prey, the flock will unfold a breathtaking and veritable ballet of life or death. The starlings move as one unified organism that vigorously opposes any outside threat. A strong visual expression is created – like that of an ink drawing or a calligraphic brush stroke – asserting itself against the sky. Shapes and black lines of condensation form within the swarm, resembling waves of interference or mathematical abstractions written across the horizon. At times the flock seems to possess the cohesive power of super fluids, changing shape in an endless flux: From geometric to organic, from solid to fluid, from matter to ethereal, from reality to dream – an exchange in which real time ceases to exist and mythical time pervades. This is the moment I have attempted to capture – a fragment of eternity," Søren writes on his website.
More images from the stunning series below:
In August, 2021, Søren collaborated with graffiti legend Henrik Soten, internationally for his street art and vibrant murals, to create his first ever mural in Copenhagen. The mural depicts the natural phenomenon of starling murmurations, the “black sun”. The giant artwork is a declaration of love to the city Søren has lived in since the mid-nineties. It is also a part of a bigger celebration that marks the 100 year anniversary for Southern Jutland’s reunion with Denmark after being under German rule from 1864-1920.
Check out the mural below + the original photograph of the murmurations it was based on: