Ikon returns to Perrott’s Folly this Spring, to present Aeolian Harp and Sculptures for Perrott’s Folly, a unique sound installation by artist and musician Max Eastley.
Max Eastley is an internationally recognised artist who combines kinetic sculpture and sound into a unique art form. His sculptures exist on the border between the natural environment and human intervention and use the driving forces of electricity, wind, water and ice.
The complexity of sound that I aim for is the complexity of sound one perceives in a natural environment. I would not call myself a landscape artist, more an artist who would like to bring attention to landscape – Max Eastley
For this installation, eight lightweight Aeolian harps are mounted on the roof of Perrott’s Folly, a landmark 18th century tower in Birmingham’s Ladywood district. The sound made by wind blowing through the harps is amplified and fed through loudspeakers at lower levels to combine with the sounds emanating from a number of acoustic sculptures, transforming the interior of the tower into an immersive aural experience.
At a time when the behaviour of our natural environment is of such grave concern the harnessing of natural forces to create extraordinary sonic phenomena seems particularly appropriate. Building Aeolian installations in public spaces guides people’s attention to the wind, the atmosphere, the climate and the sounds of the environment, and I hope that it emphasises how little most of us know about these things, and alerts us to the fact that we should know more about them, because we are in the process of changing them – Max Eastley
Eastley first worked with Ikon in 1979 to produce Installation No. 3, a sculptural sound piece installed in the basement of Ikon’s former home on John Bright Street. The programme also included a performance of Eastley’s Whirled Music, with Steve Beresford and David Toop.
On Sunday 3 June 2018, Eastley performs with artist Rie Nakajima at Ikon Gallery as part of Cafe OTO’s evening of music.
Aeolian Harp and Sculptures for Perrott’s Folly is open Friday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, 12–5pm, with free entry. Perrott’s Folly is located 20 minutes walk from Ikon and 5 minutes from Hagley Road. Please note the Folly is only accessible via a steep spiral staircase. Full address: Perrott’s Folly, Waterworks Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 9AL.
Audio engineering by Dave Hunt. Presented in partnership with RE:Future Collective. This exhibition forms part of Ikon’s Slow Boat programme Looping the Loop (2017-2019) in Birmingham’s Ladywood district. It is supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring, Michael Marsh Charitable Trust, W.A. Cadbury Trust, Grantham Yorke Trust, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and the Canal and River Trust.