Inspired by the natural world
A collection of images on the theme of “Nowhere”, the theme for the 2020 Cley Contemporary Art Exhibition.
Read more from my latest photo essay here.
Photographer -- Scientist -- Artist -- Designer
I am a photographic artist based in Sheffield, UK. Although I do enjoy traditional photography, I am most well known for my studies of motion of flocks of birds.
My background is in physics and bioinformatics (data science applied to biological systems) and I studied the structure and dynamics of complex networks for my doctorate. I have since spent a decade developing products in the scientific and medical imaging industry; improving outcomes for cancer patients and making beautiful software to help researchers understand and explore complex, multi-dimensional data.
I feel drawn to incorporate a reflection of my other career in science and technology into my images and I have two long term artistic projects on the go. Both work with migratory birds in the north of England.
The first is starling murmurations. Between November and March, tens of thousands of starlings migrate to a local roost and this my focus over winter. My aim is to depict the fluid-like movement and capture the essence of a murmuration. There is still much to learn about murmurations and this makes them really compelling to study.
The second is large gatherings of seabirds and how they use their three dimensional environment; how the actors and interactions change through the seasons.
I have always been fond of the natural world, fell in love with Africa, then discovered the wildlife on my doorstep. I recently embarked upon a journey to explore different ways of working, with the aim to reduce my negative footprint on the planet, be mindful my own energy resources and concentrate on positive, impactful work. I currently split my time between long term creative projects and coaching fitness, strength and mobility. I love spending a lot of time outdoors, whether it's taking pictures, hiking, biking, kayaking or climbing. I live with my partner Alex, and Charlie (the most handsome black and white cat) in a house full of plants.
Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 - Creative Category Silver Award - "Funnel"
Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 - Creative Category Highly Commended - "Dementor II"
Bird Photographer of the Year 2020 - Creative Category Highly Commended - "Trails at Dusk"
British Photography Awards 2020 - Birdlife Category Winner - "Follow the Leader"
Bird Photographer of the Year 2019 - Creative Category Silver Award - "Air Traffic Control"
28/05/2022-19/06/2022 - Open 2022 at The Old Lockup Gallery, Cromford, Derbyshire.
01/07/2021-01/08/2021 - Norfolk Wildlife Trust visitor centre at Cley-next-the-sea as part of the Cley Contemporary Art Exhibition
04/09/2021-05/09/2021 - Sheffield Botanical Gardens Art in the Gardens - recipient of the 2021 photography award.
10/09/2021-10/10/2021 - Wirksworth Festival Art Prize (online only due to Covid)
The 2020 exhibition calendar has been impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. I'm delighted to say I have at least one physical exhibition going ahead:
26/09/2020-27/09/2020 - Holt Festival, with online sales for a further 2 weeks.
"Air Traffic Control" was part of the Bird Photographer of the Year touring exhibition 2019:
16/08/2019-18/08/2019 - Birdfair, Rutland.
29/08/2019-03/09/2019 - After Nyne Gallery, London.
14/09/2019-31/10/2019 - Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Visitor Centre, Cley, Norfolk.
01/11/2019-21/12/2019 - Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, Norfolk.
My work is featured in these beautiful coffee-table books:
and these magazines:
Nautilus Magazine - Order Flocking out of Chaos - As part of their special issue "The Edge", and published alongside a collection of pieces on the theme of "Order." (October 2021).
bioGraphic - Starling Studded Skies - an exquisite photo essay written by Katie Jewett for the California Academy of Sciences magazine bioGraphic (July 2021).
whynow magazine - Far Flung - A most British Wildlife Photographer. Feature article for the wonderful London-based whynow magazine. (July 2021).
Outdoor Photography Magazine - issue 266 (March 2021).
DigitalRev - 10th September 2021 - "Flights of fancy; 9 images that’ll inspire your bird photography"
The Sierra Club - 4th September 2021 - "Starling Studded Skies"
BBC news - In Pictures - 1st September 2021 - "Majestic birds caught by the camera"
Geo Magazine - Naturfotografie - 1st September 2021 - "Bilder zum Lachen und Weinen: Das sind besten Vogelfotos des Jahres"
Forbes - 1st September 2021 - "Birds Of All Feathers: 20 Inspiring Photos Winners Of Bird Photographer Of The Year 2021"
The Guardian - Environment - 1st September 2021 - "2021 bird photographer of the year – winners"
Knowable Magazine - Art & science - 18th July 2021 - "Starling Swirls"
Axios Science Newsletter - 15th July 2021 - "Something Wondrous" by Alison Snyder
The Long Now Foundation Blog - 16th August 2020 - commentary on my "movement" work.
Sheffield Star - 9th January 2020 - coverage of my nomination in the British Photography Awards 2020.
How do patterns arise in a murmuration of thousands of starlings?— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 14, 2021
This complex phenomena has been explained by 2021 physics laureate Giorgio Parisi's research.
Take a look at some photos taken by Kathryn Cooper depicting starling murmurations: https://t.co/YmwY5u1Bob
I don't often stray into the realms of photography, but when I saw Kathryn Cooper's breath-taking murmuration shots, there was no resisting.— Henry Rothwell (@HenryRothwell) February 16, 2021
'Out of Nowhere' @KathCooper01 https://t.co/86rRM6Q6cM pic.twitter.com/6CaD8MXnoP