Collection: Murmurations

New works by April Dawes

I watched mesmerized as a black cloud shape-shifted and morphed before my eyes in the evening sky. Each bird influencing the movements of its closest neighbors in an unrehearsed dance. Together they moved as one in effortless perfection, this murmuration, this flock of starlings gathered together for community and protection.

As human beings we are hardwired for community and emotional connection with others. To feel loved and to have a sense of belonging are among a few of our most basic needs beyond food, water, and air. Without social connection we are vulnerable to anxiety and depression which can have detrimental effects on overall health.

Following a move from Colorado to Oklahoma four years ago, I experienced a profound loss of connection. Despite having my family close, I found myself feeling isolated. Isolated in a small town, away from the supportive community and friends that I had come to rely on. With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, although more cutoff than before, I took temporary comfort in the shared isolation and time with my family. However, as the world around me began to open up and move on, the loneliness I felt and attempted to suppress, eventually became a weight I could no longer ignore.

Drawing inspiration from the starling Murmurations, this body of work acknowledges the human need for connection and confronts the haunting loneliness, loss and longing for community in my life, over the last several years.

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