Birds I wouldn't have heard

Installation in Spare Parts at Science Gallery London, 2019
Collaboration with Tim Wainwright

John Wynne




Birds I wouldn't have heard is a 90-minute multichannel video and sound installation created for Science Gallery London in 2019 with materials collected as part of the Transplant and Life project at the Hunterian Museum in 2017. My collaborative partner Tim Wainwright died from pancreatic cancer shortly after we were commissioned by the Science Gallery, and I completed the work myself after discussions with him in his final days.

This work conveys the impact of disease and organ transplantation on the daily lives and identity of recipients, live donors, and those on the waiting list. It weaves still and moving images, voice and field recordings to explore the breadth and depth of emotions and experiences encountered while the artists were in-residence at the Royal Free and Harefield Hospitals, both world-leading centres for organ transplants.

On the exterior wall of the installation, the sound of ventricular assist devices is heard from
the speaker/photograph on the left, and from the image on the right comes the bubbling sound
of a device to drain fluid in the lungs.

Inside the installation, sound comes from the main speakers to the left and right of the screen,
as well as the two flat speaker photographs on the side walls, creating an immersive yet focused ambiance.

Click above or here for an interview in the journal TransplantNATION.

This installation was part of the exhibition Spare Parts, at Science Gallery London until May 12, 2019

Research and production of this work was generously supported by: