Sonic Wells – forging links between Australia, Turkey, and New Zealand

5 April 2016

This interactive installation will connect New Zealand, Australia and Turkey through communal sound ‘wells’ in Wellington, Sydney and Çanakkale, Gallipoli.

Person looking into a well on Cuba Street.

Sonic Well on Cuba Street

Each of the three wells will transmit audio clear enough for people to be able to hold conversations from one location to another.

In April 2015, Wellington City Council formed a Historical Sister City Relationship with Çanakkale, to commemorate the World War I centenary and to honour the friendship between the people of New Zealand and Turkey.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says art and technology will be combined to connect Canakkale, Sydney and Wellington.

“The depth of personal understanding from shared commemorations will strengthen our commitment to peaceful solutions to international issues,” she says.

“This will be another welcome addition to the numerous bonds of friendship between Turkey and New Zealand,” says Turkish Ambassador Say.

“Sonic Wells are concrete proof of how our shared experiences in Gallipoli bring Çanakkale and Wellington, which share a historical sister city relationship, ever closer, through this beautiful blend of art and technology. I am looking forward to being a part of this.”

Artist Allan Giddy, grandson of a New Zealand Anzac, is looking forward to being able to connect Turks, New Zealanders and Australians.

“People will be able to talk with loved ones who have gathered at the sister well ‘at home’,” says Allen. “Share their experiences, contemplating and honouring the lives and memories of their ANZAC relatives.”

This is a story of three nations brought together in adversity, who have since forged strong links out of this experience and who continue to build a history together.

Allan Giddy first presented Sonic Wells in Cobh, Ireland and The Rocks, Sydney, connecting the Irish diaspora with their origins. His body of work has been shown at the Tate Modern, ISEA and TISEA (International Symposia on Electronic Art) and includes large public commissions in Australia, China, Ireland, Germany, the UK, and New Zealand.

Sonic Wells will be open to the public 24 April–22 July, Lower Cuba Street, outside The Body Shop.