mystery bird light tour

A display of giant birds projected onto buildings was staged in Salford.

The ‘Mystery Bird’ light show was put on by Quays Culture as part of a four-day tour of locations across Greater Manchester.

It involves a three metre by two metre birdcage filled with projected flying birds accompanied by a bespoke soundscape, which are then released to ‘fly’ across buildings, trees, landscapes and the streets of Salford and Greater Manchester.

The event arrived in Salford at MediaCityUK and Labernum Court Care Home on  Priory Grove last Friday.

Image Credit: Chris Payne.

The idea was inspired by the public’s increased awareness of surrounding nature during the lockdown throughout this summer, which offered a mixture of solace, comfort, motivation and relaxation to many.


Programme producer at Quays Culture and Co-Creator of Mystery Bird Jude Jagger commented: “So many people mentioned enjoying birds, listening to birdsong and getting involved with nature in general during the first lock down.”

Co-Creator Gemma Saunders added: “Despite Covid-19 being devastating there are some aspects of this situation that have made us re-focus on important factors in our lives.

“We want to play that back to people and deliver an ‘art at your front door’ wonder that will be truly special.”

Image Credit: Joshua Leo Dorfman.

Quays Media invited a collective of artists from the north-west, who brought their individual skills together to create Mystery Bird.

Credit: Chris Payane
Image Credit: Chris Payne

The display involved paper artist Helen Musselwhite, vocal artist Jason Singh, the projection team Illuminos, local fabricators M3 Industries and digital expert Jack Hardiker.

Jason Singh said: “Working on Mystery Bird has been both a pleasure and an intense creative challenge to work on.

“I have had to vocally recreate bird calls that are new to my repertoire and some have been really complicated to reproduce but the challenge to do it has been really exciting!”

About the team he collaborated with he said: “The whole team has been fantastic to work with. Ultimately, it has been the overwhelming positive responses from the public that have really blown me away.

Mr Singh added: “We wanted to raise awareness of nature and wildlife both in and out of the city environment in a fun, engaging and unique way…I feel we have achieved what we set out to do!”

You can listen to Jason Singh’s work for the Mystery Bird project below.

In addition to the Mystery Bird travelling installation, Quays Culture worked with artist Jack Hardiker to create a special Instagram filter so users can now welcome the birds into their own homes and gardens via their mobile smartphone devices.

Image Credit: Chris Payne

Mr Hardiker said about the tour: “The most touching moment of the project for me was when the installation was displayed on Darley Avenue in Chorlton.

“The bird cage stopped directly outside a new estate that was once my high school, Oakwood, where I hadn’t been for 17 years!”

Quays Culture asked for the public to share a movie of their own Mystery Bird experience that will be collated into a community movie to share the joy of the experience with the nation by clicking this link:


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