Preview: Andrew Stonyer – Audio Kinetic Solar Sculpture

Exhibition: Andrew Stonyer – Audio Kinetic Solar Sculpture, Fermynwoods, Northamptonshire, until September 26 2010

It has been a few decades since music fans frequently used terms like “cosmic” and “far out”, but such language seems about right for a new work at Fermynwoods.

Andrew Stonyer’s sculpture hangs between a small group of Elder trees and responds with movement and sound to the daily cycles of our nearest star.

The artist describes his sculpture as “a search for patterns of actual and implied kinetic imagery, hidden within the seemingly regular”.  In other words, this latest work should investigate whether or not the sun moves to a beat.

Audio-kinetic solar sculptures are nothing new apparently. Stonyer has looked to pre-classical Greece for inspiration, where there is evidence for the common enjoyment of sun-powered, sound-producing sculptures.

Another historical precedent is the notion of an Aeolian or wind-powered harp which came into fashion with romanticism. Once again it was nature calling the tune.

But not all of Stonyer’s work is quite so ethereal. A 2000 installation in the Newcastle Metro offered a kinetic response to the vibrations of passing trains. Cosmic? Maybe not, but a heavy trip all the same.

Written for Culture24.

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