Musical artwork takes centre stage at Airbus aerospace park

Gazette Series: Bristol's elected mayor, George Ferguson cuts a ribbon in front of the Aeolus sculpture, helped by Lauren Edwards 14, from the Orchard School, Monks Park. Also pictured are Behrooz Barzegar, left, head of flight physics integration, and sculpture crea Bristol's elected mayor, George Ferguson cuts a ribbon in front of the Aeolus sculpture, helped by Lauren Edwards 14, from the Orchard School, Monks Park. Also pictured are Behrooz Barzegar, left, head of flight physics integration, and sculpture crea

A GIANT singing sculpture has found a new permanent home on the Airbus Aerospace Park in Filton.

It took Bristol artist Luke Jerram four years to create his musical artwork, which is called Aeolus after the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology.

Luke had been inspired to create the piece by a desert well digger in Iran, who told him of the wells "singing in the wind".

Aeolus, which weighs ten tonnes, is six metres high and has already been on a nationwide tour.

It features more than 300 stainless steel tubes and produces a sound when the breeze going through harp strings creates music that changes depending on the wind strength. The tubes also hum at a series of low frequencies.

As well as being a special feature of the park, the sculpture will also be a major part of an education project aimed at schoolchildren. Workshops developed and run by Airbus graduates will help youngsters uncover the aerodynamic and acoustic secrets of Aeolus.

Airbus wanted the piece to be the centrepiece of its £70 million investment in the Filton site.

Behrooz Barzegar, head of flight physics integration at Airbus UK, said: "This is more than just an artwork. It marks the culmination of a major commitment by Airbus into the aerospace park, which also includes the new Barnwell House and the refurbished Pegasus House.

"The park continues the pioneering role of Filton in aviation and Aeolus is very much a symbol of the future of aerospace in the UK and Bristol, as children visiting us here will also be considering the possibilities of a future career in aerospace and the relationship between art and engineering."

Bristol's elected mayor, George Ferguson, cut a ribbon on the sculpture during a celebration to welcome the piece.

He said: “I am always encouraged by businesses that support the arts."

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