Fly Birdie Fly
Art and Design Research Centre
A video animation that explores the flight of the shuttlecock, using sport as a gateway into art and a gateway into science for the general public
Fly Birdie Fly is a product of The Arty Sciency Sporty Art (ASSA) initiative, a cross-faculty project at Sheffield Hallam University, which intends to use Sport as a gateway into Art and a gateway into Science for the general public
Fly Birdie Fly is a video animation looking at the flight of the shuttlecock and its materials, bringing together both scientific data and the narrative of its origins. The finest match shuttlecocks are made from six feathers of the left hand wing of the white geese of china. The film draws together analysis of the shuttle flight and presents the data in a powerful and poetic narrative, striping the shuttlecock back to its origins, to the original starting point, the source of the feathers. Fly Birdie Fly explores the story of the flight of the shuttle, from the flight of the goose, to the dynamics of the feather to the final flick smash and drop of the birdie. The final film carries a soundscape that expands the narrative possibilities from the ringing of Tibetan singing bowls to gaggling geese.
The work was exhibited at World Badminton Championships (Wembley Arena) at the invitation of Badminton England, presented daily on the stadium screens throughout the Championship; included in the Cultural Olympiad, Alight and BBC Big Screens program in Leeds and Bradford; Chemistry of Incidences: Film at the intersection of art and science documentary, Sheffield Doc/Fest Fringe; Engineering For Life: Understanding Interdisciplinarity: Theory and Practice, conference, SHU, 2012.
Julie Westerman - Senior Lecturer - Fine Art
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