A six week artistic programme of sound and light installations for its inaugural exhibition at The Wind Tunnel Project, which runs from 9 June – 20 July 2014 has been announced at Farnborough, Hampshire. This runs concurrently with a diverse educational programme to engage the local community and schools.
Through site specific installations by a selection of international artists, the exhibition, which is housed in and around the wind tunnel in Farnborough, aims to revive and resurrect these 1917 and 1935 Grade I and II Listed buildings, open to the public for the first time.
Curator Salma Tuqan has invited artists to create site specific installations that respond to the space, as well as archival material from the FAST museum and the Royal Aeronautical Library. “We aim to create a sensory experience for visitors through subtle interventions using sound and light” Tuqan explains. The artist, writer and technologist James Bridle will draw inspiration from one of the aircraft tested in Farnborough to create his Rainbow Plane installation series, based on satellite mapping, which he will set in the Portable Airship Hangar that spans 1400 sq M. Meanwhile, sound artist Thor McIntyre-Burnie will reawaken Q121 and R52 wind tunnels, as apparatus to physically explore, via three new sculptural and sonic interventions.
Richard Gardner, Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) Chairman said: “It has been fascinating working with the artists involved in this project, especially observing how they have adopted their own insightful alternative perspective as a result of examining our archives. Our unique collection of artefacts, images and documents has been interpreted in an innovative new context and we are enthused at the prospect of showing this to the diverse audiences that the project is expected to attract.”
A lecture series and podcasts will be produced in collaboration with the Royal College of Art (School of Humanities) and the FAST Museum, and will form part of the exhibition’s extensive educational programme. With ambitions to inspire the next generation of creative minds within the community, Artliner aims to engage 34 local schools through classroom-based activities and visits on site.
Once a unique testing facility for aircraft, including the world famous Hurricane, the site was used into the 1990s for Grand Prix vehicle wind tunnel tests. The wind tunnels and the hangar were restored by Julian Harrap Architects, who were awarded the RIBA Awards in 2007 and 2008 for their work on both buildings. By converting the tunnels into an exciting arts venue, Artliner hopes to stage exhibitions every two years to coincide with the Farnborough International Airshow.
Andrew Lloyd, Chief Executive of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “This is such an exciting project for Farnborough and for the Borough of Rushmoor as a whole, and we are thrilled to support it. The project will reinforce Farnborough’s worldwide profile and reputation and bring new focus to the area’s aviation heritage, which is dear to so many people’s hearts. We are particularly pleased at the emphasis on community engagement and at the commitment to involve our young people in a venture that we hope will help inspire their future creativity.”
The Wind Tunnel Project is generously supported by Bombardier, the Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company and leader in the manufacture of civil aircraft, Breitling, the world’s only major watch brand to equip all its models with chronometer certified movements, and owners of the Farnborough Business Park, Harbert Management Corporation.
9 June – 20 July 2014 Farnborough’s Grade I and II Listed wind tunnels