Sounding The River explored the hidden beauty of Birmingham’s urban River Rea. This nocturnal exploration of nature reflected through art was the final celebration of mac Birmingham’s 50th year in 2012. Curated by artist Jony Easterby, I was part of a wonderful team of artists including Jony Easterby, Mark Anderson, Anna Lucas, Ulf Mark Pedersen and Red Earth Environmental Arts Group.
I created a new installation ‘In Flight’; a flock of stainless steel Origami-style birds mechanised to fly through trees overhanging the river at night. I lit them to create shadow animations on the river wall and explored the reflective quality of the metal to bounce light into the trees, creating multiple reflections and shadows. I was inspired by the early cinema experiments of Mélies. The installation formed part of ‘Sounding the River’s narrative; which began in the culverted urbanised section of the river with installations that allude to Birmingham’s industrial past, transforming into works that connect with the natural and more wild environment as the river meanders into Cannon Hill Park.
Header Photo and photo of metal birds above by Nicola Easterby.
The video below also shows the birds in the daytime nestling between the trees overhanging the river…
Later in the river walk, I created a triptych version of my installation Piano Migrations in a wooded area. I made three different bird videos to generate different audio-visual compositions on pianos amongst the trees… Adrian Burrows took the photograph below, and I took the following two.