In 2017, I was working on a 25-year retrospective portrait book and exhibition at Frederiksborg Castle, The National Portrait gallery in Denmark. I was going through all my portraits for a year and decided that I wanted to do a new project that was not about portraiture.
The first thing that came to my mind was an image of a big flock of starlings I had seen flying in intriguing formations as a 10 year old. I decided to go to the Wadden Sea on the Danish West Coast where starling murmuration takes place in spring and fall. Initially, it was all about practicalities like locating the birds and learning about their behavior. On the seventh night I was there, I witnessed a large flock of starlings getting attacked by a peregrine falcon. The shapes and formations the flock created, in order to scare off the attacking bird of prey, blew my mind. Beautiful, dramatic, and resembling a Japanese ink drawing or a piece of calligraphy.
For the next 2 years, I spent my time in that area whenever the birds were there. After the second year, I started following the birds as they migrated South and West, and thus expanded the project to five other countries: Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.