Notice Board

Wed 29 Mar

Broadway Gallery Residency - Wheeze by Matt Marks

Artist and Composer Matt Marks joins us for a residency in Broadway’s Gallery to create Wheeze, a musical, playable artwork.

Drop by the Gallery to take part in the making and playing of Wheeze and watch it come to life!

Opening times:

Wheeze is now open for visitors until Saturday 8th April. The Gallery is open for visitors when the artist is present.

General opening times will be from Monday - Saturday, 10.30am - 5.30pm but to avoid disappointment please check in advance with Broadway’s Box Office either in person or by calling 0115 952 6611.

Entrance to the Gallery is via Heathcoate Street or can be accessed via Broadway’s Lower Ground Floor.

What is Wheeze?

Wheeze is an organ like you've never seen before. It can be played, it may play itself and it will invite anyone to play it/with it. Playing it will, at times, require physical effort - lungs will be the organs that provide the breath that provides the vitality for the muscles to activate the breath of the organ. For Wheeze is also a vital organ. As breath/wind/air passes through its antique bellows/lungs, effort is rewarded by beautiful/ugly/wheezy/funny/scary/exciting sounds. The audience may want to proudly puff up the wind chest with Wheeze's cheeks and windpipes. They will be able to handle handles, lever levers, wheel wheels, pedal pedals, cycle cycles or tread treadmills to provide the puff to push the reeds and whistles and whatnot into speaking. Metal and rubber could rub together like virtual vocal chords. The air will be alchemically transformed into harmonic haemoglobin.

Wheeze will be highly lo-tech, an organic orchestra, a thing of clumsy hilarious beauty, a superficial intelligence machine.

Wheeze is an interactive organ made from found materials. It is entirely self-powered (mainly by the audience) by wind provided by old vacuum cleaners, bellows, balloons, accordions and whatever else may be found. The sound will come from flutes, duck calls, whistles (but no bells!) bagpipe chanters, cuckoo clocks and, again, other found materials.

As well as being a free-standing sculptural entity to be played and explored by the audience Wheeze will also be the engine that drives stand-alone performances in collaboration with actors, circus performers, singers, musicians, dancers, poets - in fact, the list can be endless. It will be operated by a crew of two people, one being the engineer/inventor/conductor/player, and the other the barker/performer/animator.

“The aesthetic of Wheeze will be very much dictated by its raw materials but joins a rich legacy of work from the earliest man-made machines through automata to Heath-Robinson, Tinguely and Emmett, Svankmeyer and Gondry. But it will be unique. It will also be a viable instrument for which I will compose experimental music. As well as a playful provocation, it is a comment on the human need to explore and the breath of life that drives the body and mind.” - Matt Marks, artist.

Wheeze already has support from Applause Outdoors and confirmed bookings for festivals in the summer of 2017 including Wheee! Festival at Nottingham Lakeside.

The process of building Wheeze will also be a public, interactive event. Broadway’s Gallery is where the public will see it gradually come to life, and try it out as a work in progress.

Follow Wheeze’s progress at

About the Artist

Matt Marks' work has always been about the crossing of artforms and the blurring of boundaries. An initial grounding in Fine Art led to more collaborative approaches through drama and performance to the composition and performance of music-based media. Matt has forged a career as a musical dramatist, exploring performance and narrative through the medium of sound as composer, deviser and performer.

In Wheeze, Matt will be revisiting his roots in visual art and deconstructing and reconstructing elements of music and performance in concrete form.