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Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion by Luke Jerram

Date uploaded: August 3, 2011

Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion

By Luke Jerram

Aeolus - ruler of the four winds in Greek mythology.

Launching at Lyme Park, Disley on Saturday 6th August, Aeolus will be touring the UK this summer. Aeolus is a unique acoustic sculpture that sings with the wind. As an exploration of acoustics, wind and architecture, Aeolus was inspired by a trip to Iran, where Jerram met a Qanat desert well digger who spoke of “the wells singing in the wind”. Aeolus is pioneering in terms of art-science collaborations. Designed to inspire and excite the public about engineering and acoustics, art and architecture, the associated Aeolus Outreach Programme seeks to inspire curiosity and wonder about the science of sound, furthering interest in this diverse discipline through the exploration of this otherworldly work of art.

Jerram’s design for Aeolus is informed by his collaboration with acoustic specialists Tim Waters from ISVR (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research) at the University of Southampton and Ian Drumm from the University of Salford. Funding for Aeolus is from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and ACE (Arts Council England). Global engineering and design consultancy, Arup, provided structural engineering design services for the sculpture.

Outokumpu have sponsored the project by providing some of the stainless steel. Alison Kinna, Head of UK Sales Company stated: “Outokumpu Stainless Distribution are pleased to be working with Luke on the Aeolus Project, which will showcase both the aesthetic and durable qualities of stainless steel to such a wide audience”.

From a distance, Aeolus will appear as an imposing shining arch supporting over three hundred stainless steel tubes. Standing below the arch, the mirror-lined tubes will draw in imagery from the landscape, distorting and replicating the surrounding environment. When the wind blows and the sun moves across the sky, these movements will be experienced anew through Aeolus both visually and audibly, as the sculpture will produce a beautiful and mysterious sound. With its web of nylon strings, Aeolus will function as a giant Aeolian wind harp.

Luke says: “Creating Aeolus has been the most challenging and rewarding of all my artworks made to date. It’s been amazing to have had the support of a great team and so many organisations to make Aeolus come into being.”

The tour includes a programme of ambitious hands-on public engagement activities for all ages and all levels of knowledge.

Aeolus is scheduled to tour to three venues:

  • Lyme Park (National Trust property near Manchester) until Monday 30th August
  • Eden Project in Cornwall: 19th September - 9th October
  • MediaCityUK at Salford Quays: 22nd October - tbc.        

Visit www.aeolus.org.uk