Hurricane Bells by Peter Shenai

8 Feb 2020 – 16 Feb 2020

Regular hours

12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00

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The Heong Gallery

England, United Kingdom

Event map

The Heong Gallery presents the first exhibition of Hurricane Bells – a project by contemporary artist Peter Shenai.

Shenai has designed and cast five bronze bells, whose shapes are based on the structure of Hurricane Katrina – the storm that devastated New Orleans in August 2005.


Hung in a line and struck in order these bells produce a series of descending tones, which indicate the growing power of the storm as it built through time.

Each bell is a scale model of the hurricane at a particular point in its progression. Bell 1 represents Katrina as an infant hurricane out in the Gulf of Mexico. Bell 5 shows Katrina just as it struck the coastal city of New Orleans at a terrifying strength two days later.

Audiences are invited to play the Hurricane Bells using the beaters provided. Shenai encourages visitors to “strike them and listen. Turn them over and feel their weight. Investigate Katrina with your eyes, hands, and ears.”

The bells evoke the musical spirit of New Orleans – a place where even at funerals, people might dance and play music. And at a time when bushfires roar, and cities declare climate emergencies, Shenai’s musical instruments offer a meditative sound to memorialise a past tragedy, and they act as an alarm call to the current, unfolding crisis.

Audiences can also explore the artistic process, the climate science, and the cultural context behind the project, through printed materials and audio recordings, and two evening events (see below).

This exhibition is suitable for all ages.

Interested to know more?

Listen to this audio documentary on the project (30min), produced for BBC Radio4 and available on BBCSounds online. Listen here

See Peter Shenai interviewed on the project here

Exhibition co-curated by Dr Nicola Kozicharow. Produced in association with Filthy Lucre. With generous support from Arts Council England.

Exhibition Events

Thursday 13 February, 6PM

Workshop: Drawing with your ears , led by artist Peter Shenai

Open to all ages – no musical/drawing talent required, just curious ears & eyes.

Free to attend, but places are limited. Please book here

Saturday 15 February, 5.30PM

Evening talk: Hurricane Bells presentation from artist Peter Shenai, along with co-curator Dr Nicky Kozicharow.

Free to attend, but places are limited. Please book here

What to expect? Toggle


Nicola Kozicharow

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Peter Shenai

Taking part


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