Fiona Banner, Tornado, 2010

Fiona Banner
Tornado, 2010

Hillgate Quay, Gateshead
22.07.2010 - 21.09.2010
Frith Street Gallery, London
17.11.2010 - 15.01.2011

Tornado by Fiona Banner was a co-commission by Locus+ and Great North Run Culture forming part of the Cultural Olympiad's Open Weekend.

Fiona Banner's proposal involved the physical and conceptual transformation of a recently decommissioned RAF Tornado jet fighter ZE728 cast as a large bell, utilizing the metal from the entire plane.

Bells are powerful social instruments embedded in many of our most important rituals; from the celebratory, as a warning, a clarion call to action and to the sound of mourning. Just as this bell is a 21st century object with multiple histories, its materials have been transformed by the imagination of the artist through casting processes learned and passed from generation to generation since the middle ages. Whether chiming or silent, Tornado is a metaphor for the possibilities and understanding of change.

The bell was cast, in Loughborough, by the world renowned John Taylors Bell Foundry.

"I remember the first military object I got excited about. My Grandfather's flat in Birkenhead was full of war memorabilia. When I was very young, and when he wasn't looking, I used to climb up onto his chair and ring the big bell he had salvaged from a war ship. The feeling of power that came from it was incredible – the sound, and the space around it was way bigger than me."
Fiona Banner 2010

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