This painting is part of his bird series that depict flamingos either paddling or flying, exploring the compositional possibilities created by flocks of one of nature’s most distinctive birds. Houghton’s style of painting is unique as well not painting the individual bird but the space around the bird to give them the positive form.

This interest was ignited when he began watching the local flamingo population in Cape Town, where he spent a number of years running an art school after finishing his degree in law (something he says he hated and did because art wasn’t seen to offer “proper” prospects). Houghton’s images of migrating flocks are unexpectedly quiet pieces, with an even more marked deployment of empty space than the sports paintings. Houghton says that in essence all his paintings are an attempt to depict movement, and that blank space is crucial to this, given that by nature movement sits right at the edge of what it is possible to represent.