About TRANSPLANT AND LIFE
Interview about “Transplant and Life”, Medical Humanities, 2017.
Article about “Transplant and Life”, LANCET (V0l. 389, 2017).
Article about “Transplant”, THE TIMES.
Article about “Transplant”, The GUARDIAN.
Article about “Transplant”, WIRE.
In various ways, heart and lung transplants blur the easy distinctions between life and death, between being alive and not. The transplant unit at Harefield is a place where all these issues cross, where dying and living has a different and more elastic meaning than in the world outside.
(Art critic, Independent on Sunday)
Wainwright and Wynne pick their way across a minefield of colossal emotions, hallucinatory experiences and cutting edge medical technology with great tenderness and delicacy.
(The Wire Magazine)
Through all the differences and similarities of sound and vision, seeing and hearing, looking and listening, a rapprochement emerges in the collaboration. The insistent stillness of a photograph hovers in and out of the temporal movement of spoken language, but both add a powerful sense of human presence and individuality to each other.
The work is supercharged with affect. Understated rather than sentimental, it evokes a sense of quiet dread, of mortality and frailty; the visceral, bodily sensation of illness, death hovering close by; but also hope, hanging on by the fingernails, the miracles of medical science, of new life.
(Field Recording and the Sounding of Spaces)
Hospital Project on Noise, Sound and Sleep (HPNoSS).
About I AM NOT THE CANCER
Article in THE LANCET (2015)
Without commotion or comment, Tim Wainwright and John Wynne’s thoughtful installation discloses the experiences of women with metastatic breast cancer. Six video portraits are accompanied by the disembodied voices of their subjects, each recounting their own particular journey ‘through the fog of disease’. The projection of separate sounds and images, and the whisper of noises off, creates a muddled ambiguity that anyone who has struggled to talk about cancer will be familiar with. A sense of suspended animation is created as time is simultaneously compressed and stretched. Quiet, thinking faces create a vacancy into which conjecture about appropriate thoughts and words spills. The artists have crafted this uncertainty very gently but it leaves a lasting impression, making the isolation encountered by people with metastatic cancer tangible to the audience.
Josef James Pitt-Rashid, The Lancet
"Birds I wouldn't have heard" (2019). Installation in Spare Parts at Science Gallery London.
Collaboration with Tim Wainwright. // 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, and I completed the work 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. // © John Wynne
"Transplant and Life" (2016-2017). Exhibition in collaboration with Tim Wainwright. Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London, November 2016 - May 2017. // Transplant and Life is an exhibition in the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. I worked with photographer Tim Wainwright to film, photograph and record organ transplant recipients, live donors, people on the waiting list for a transplant, and specialists in the field. We were asked to make work that would bring the patient voice into the medical museum, a space normally dominated by specimens, clinical hardware and medical heroes. The exhibition is accompanied by a digital guide designed to enrich the visitor experience via QR codes throughout the exhibition and to provide access to images, sounds and information not directly on show in the museum. The exhibition consisted of three related installations. Above is the museum's Crystal Gallery, with 16 high-resolution light boxes and 12 channels of sound, heard via special devices which turn the glass cabinets into sound-producing surfaces. Upstairs, the Qvist Gallery installation comprised a 2-hour video with 4-channel sound and 2 photographic speaker panels. It included all of the organ transplant patients and family members with whom we worked during our time as artists-in-residence at the Royal Free Hospital in 2016. These patients were kidney, liver and pancreas recipients as well as live donors. It also included five of the heart and lung transplant recipients we initially met during our residency at Harefield Hospital in 2007 and who we revisited in 2016. The two still images to the left and right were taken at Harefield and are 'flat speakers', creating an immersive sound environment within the installation. The third element in this exhibition was a video projection with stereo sound above the double curved staircase of the museum. The machine in this video was filmed during one of project participant Ed Dowie's thrice weekly dialysis sessions at St Pancras Hospital. Dialysis machines filter a patient's blood to remove excess water and waste products when the kidneys are damaged, dysfunctional, or missing. Ed (above right) had one of his kidneys removed when he was a baby and has since had 3 failed transplants (none of these at the Royal Free Hospital, which now provides Ed's dialysis). // © John Wynne
"Transplant". Collaborative project with Tim Wainwright. // "Transplant": 24-channel installation, book and DVD, video installation / "ITU": video with surround sound / "Flow" 7-screen video and sound installation / "Hearts": Lungs and Minds- for BBC Radio 3 / "Part and Parcel": 8-channel audio work. / "The Transplant Log": a web log kept by the artists during their residency at Harefield Hospital. // Transplant, a long-term collaborative project with photographer Tim Wainwright explores territory on the borders of art and anthropology, extending the sensory turn in ethnography in the direction of sound and investigating new relationships between sound and still image. Continuing Wynne’s pursuit of socially engaged sound arts practice and multi-channel installation, it began with a year-long residency at Harefield Hospital, a world-leading centre for heart and lung transplantation. The artists recorded and photographed patients, the devices they were attached to or had implanted, and the hospital environment, researching and developing ideas leading to multiple outcomes. Primary among these are a 24-channel sound/photography installation in which the photographs are the actual source of the sound, and a published book of essays and interviews containing a DVD. Other outputs include a surround sound video (ITU, shown in UK, Ireland, Germany, Canada), an award-winning half-hour composed documentary (Hearts, Lungs and Minds, for BBC Radio 3), a multi-channel video/sound installation (Flow, at the Old Operating Theatre in London), and an 8-channel sound work (Part and Parcel, Kettles Yard and the Whitworth Art Gallery). © John Wynne
"I Am Not the Cancer" 6-channel video / 8-channel sound installation in collaboration with Tim Wainwright. // I Am Not the Cancer is a video and sound installation made with women from across Europe with advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. Originally commissioned
as a one-off installation for an event in Brussels to mark the launch of an ABC awareness campaign, the piece was so compelling that patient support groups
across Europe commissioned bespoke versions in their own countries.
Staged in a darkened environment, the audio for each of the 6 video channels was directed in a narrow beam of audio to a single chair in front of the screen.
A subtle very low frequency composition created an immersive, concentrated atmosphere that was felt more than heard.
Cancer not only affects the body but also encroaches on one’s sense of identity; the title of the piece came from the Dutch participant Tootje, who said, “I have cancer, but I am not the cancer. I am Tootje." © John Wynne
John Wynne. Accepting the award for Sonic Art at the British Composer Awards 2010 from Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre in London. The award was for his Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner. The judges described the winning work as "aurally and visually mesmerising, involving a resonant and enigmatic sound world. A highly structured composition with a visual impact." © John Wynne
John Wynne's award-winning, often research-led work is made for museums, galleries, public spaces and radio: it ranges from large-scale installations to delicate sculptural works and from architectural sound drawings to flying radios and composed documentaries that explore the boundaries between documentary and abstraction. He has worked with speakers of endangered languages in Botswana and British Columbia and with heart and lung transplant patients in the UK. He is a Professor of Sound Art at the University of the Arts London, a core member of the CRiSAP research centre and has a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London.