Original design for Aeolus 2009

Original design for Aeolus 2009


Making of Aeolus

The creation of Aeolus has taken over 3 years to complete. To communicate his ideas to his colleagues Jerram has created over 400 drawings of the artwork. Many prototypes were made and hours of testing were carried out on Jerram's local hill in Bristol. (See films below)

Dozens of people have been brought together to provide their expertise from art managers, sound engineers, structural engineers, computer aided designers, steel manufacturers, fabricators, welders and install crew. (See partners). Support for the project in the form of funding, sponsorship has had to be found by the team- which during a recession in the UK has been a tough challenge!

A 'Making of Aeolus' exhibition was presented at the RWA, Bristol 8thSept-10thOct 2011.

The Journey

Aeolus was inspired by Luke Jerram's research trip to Iran in 2007 where he explored the mosques of Isfahan. He found their complex geometry, acoustic properties together with the use of light within the architecture extraordinary. Whilst in Yazd, Jerram interviewed a Qanat desert well digger about his life. The well digger spoke of the wells singing in the wind. This research trip led Jerram to investigate the acoustics of sacred architecture and to make his own wind powered work of art. Read more about the history

The Brief

With support from University of Southampton and University of Salford, an ambitous brief was set. To: 
1) Create a building that would resonate and sing with the wind, without any electrical power or amplification.
2) Create an artwork that would be both acoustically and visually inspiring.
3)The artwork should be appreciated by the general public as well as specialists of architecture, engineering, music and the visual arts.
4)Be capable of touring the UK to reach a large, broad and diverse audience

Documenting the Development

Many of Luke's projects are initially developed using materials found around the home, this way he gets to explore the phenomenon and technology before spending thousands of pounds on production. Many of these tests have been repeated by others around the world, interested in Jerram's experiments. These films reveal his experimental process:

Jerram was conscious that to truely engage the public the artwork should have visual impact as well as acoustic properties. Drawing in the landscape around the artwork through specially mirrored tubes would provide a strong visual component to the artwork. The tubes reflect the imagery at one end, inverting and amplifying the scene. The tubes would also act to as resonating chambers, amplifying the sound of the aeolian harp connected at one end. Here are some films of early tube tests...

Fabrication of Aeolus

You can also watch: film of arch fabrication (with cows) May2011. Tube fabrication June2011.

Aeolus - Full Hemisphere 

Aeolus is just a slice of a larger immersive optical singing architectural work, Jerram hopes to complete in the future.