Friday, 29 April 2011

Artist Research - Fiona Banner

Fiona Banner is a contemporary English artist who was short-listed for the Turner Prize in 2002. Banner’s work primarily consists of airplanes this is why I have chosen to research her practice further as I am working on a project about flight.

Fiona Banner: Peace on Earth 2007

Since 1988 Tate Britain has commissioned a leading contemporary artist to design its Christmas tree every year. In 2007 banner was chosen to decorate the 30-foot tree. At the time it was the largest tree to be installed at Tate Britain. Banner decorated the tree with 123 handmade kit models of all the world’s fighter planes that were currently in service, anywhere in the world. This collection of diminutive models forms an ‘A to Z’ of military airplanes, yet bears no markings of nationality.

Information from video Tate Shorts New Work: Fiona Banner

The piece was originally called parade. Banner first started making model aircraft at goldsmiths in London over 20 years ago. She started by compiling a list of all the fighter planes that were currently in service anywhere in the world. It took her a long time to create the list because the list changes all the time. Banner discusses the idea of the Christmas tree being somewhat warped as we celebrate nature by cutting down a virile tree and bringing it indoors to slowly watch it die in conjunction with this she stated it occurred to her that in many ways the planes belong to nature they have nicknames that are of nature for instance the Sea Harrier, Black Hawk, Raven and Eagle and also that in many ways they are incredibly delicate. Finally banner explains from a distance the tree looks very pretty but as you get closer you see it isn’t pretty at all its about this complicated violent stuff, is it a celebration or is it something much darker.

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