• Farnborough’s Grade 1 Listed Wind Tunnels reopen for the first time since the 1960s
• Farnborough is the birthplace of British aviation and is the home of the country’s first powered flight in 1908
• Exhibition runs for six weeks, coinciding with Farnborough International Air Show 14 — 20 July
• Salma Tuqan announced as curator of The Wind Tunnel Project 2014
Artliner, an organisation which stages art experiences around the world, is delighted to announce The Wind Tunnel Project. Opening on the 9th June 2014 for a six-week run, the exhibition will be housed in and around 1917 and 1935 Grade 1 Listed buildings, which will open to the public for the first time in history.
Once the Royal Air Force flight testing warehouse for the Hawker Hurricane, the fighter plane that revolutionised fighter plane design, the sites Q121, R52 and the Air Balloon Hangar that cover 2400 sqm will be revived with art from a selection of international artists. For over 50 years, the wind tunnels, located beside TAG Farnborough Airport have laid dormant. These historic examples of British heritage showcasing world leading Research & Development are being reinvented as one of the most exciting new venues for the art outside London. The event will run every two years to coincide with Farnborough International Airshow.
Tatiana Ojjeh, Founder of Artliner, said:
“Walking through the site you are touched by the spirit that produced some of the greatest developments in aeronautical engineering. From our engagement with the local community, past workers and enthusiasts of the sites, it was clear it was not simply a question of saving these historic buildings but of giving them a function again, to make an impact for the long term, shining a light on the past through art and our educational programming. Once more creating a place of inspiration and innovation that will ensure the Wind Tunnels’ legacy continues for future generations.”
Curator Salma Tuqan will invite artists to draw inspiration from the heritage and the dense archive, based on the work of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) museum.
Salma Tuqan, explained:
“The artistic programme will include a series of subtle interventions in the space using sound, light and performance, to create a sensory experience for visitors.”
Richard Gardner, Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) Chairman added:
“The FAST trustees have campaigned for 20 years to safeguard the legacy of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. A priceless collection of artefacts, film and documents are now safe in the FAST museum and we are delighted to see the start of a new life for this most precious historic site.”
The project aims to leave a positive impact on the local community, and will include a diverse educational programme to engage 34 local schools, which will be made available to over 30,000 students. The programme will range from classroom activities to creative workshops in the wind tunnels, helping achieve Artliner’s ambition to inspire the next generation of creative minds and raise aspirations within the community.
Andrew Lloyd, Chief Executive of Rushmoor Borough Council, said:
“It is of great gain and benefit to Farnborough and the Borough of Rushmoor as a whole, and will reinforce its world-wide profile and reputation for innovation. It is great to hear of the focus on ensuring access and benefits for all sectors of our community, particularly school children and young people.”