An artist whose work encompasses sculpture, drawing, installation, and text, Fiona Banner’s interrelated practice is always rooted in language. After a rich history of work, this multi-discipline creative is now bringing a culmination of two-decades worth of work to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This work will explore the dilemma and contradiction at the heart of our relationship with the military and its hardware.
Wp Wp Wp (the onomatopoeic name of the exhibition, inspired by the sound of helicopters), features Banner’s ambitious project, Chinook, a large-scale installation formed of two sets of helicopter blades. These blades sit above visitors’ heads as if preparing for lift off, carefully choreographed in such a way to give the sensation that they might collide.
As Banner explains: “the Chinook helicopter is an engineering phenomenon. It is visually a contradiction; it looks clumsy and prehistoric, and yet is able to perform the most extraordinary aerodynamic function. When in motion the rotor blades at the front and back of the aircraft appear to collide and pull the vast craft in opposite directions.”
The ambitious project, and accompanying works, will reveal Banner’s consideration of film, text and the mythologies of conflict. These include site-specific work spanning the huge windows of the gallery that gives an unreal sense of the landscape beyond, as well as Mirror, Banner’s 2007 film in which actress Samantha Morton reads the artist’s nude portrait of her, rendered in word not image; and All the World’s Fighter Planes, 2005/6, a film that animates newspaper clippings of all of the aircraft in commission around the world at that time, set to a score of music taken from classic war films.