Video: Helicopter art at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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The imposing sight of two sets of helicopter blades suspended from the ceiling of a gallery will great visitors to Yorkshire Sculpture Park from today.

Wp Wp Wp, an exhibition by UK artist Fiona Banner, mimics the sound of helicopter blades in action, as commonly used in movie storyboards and comics.

Fiona Banner with her ambitious new project, Chinook, at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Fiona Banner with her ambitious new project, Chinook, at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Highlighting the absence of a helicopter’s body, Chinook is formed from two sets of helicopter blades – suspended from the ceiling of YSP’s Longside Gallery – rotating in opposition to one another at various speeds. Carefully choreographed to overlap, the blades give the sensation that they might collide, an effect that is both mesmerizing and unnerving.

Ms Banner said: “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 origins of this work could be traced to Banner’s 1997 work THE NAM, 1,000 pages of continuous text, fully describing six Hollywood Vietnam movies.

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