There will be a selection of kites from two Air Galleries on show at Portsmouth – the original Hague Air Gallery and the newer European Air Gallery.
The Hague Air Gallery was developed in 1987 by Gerard van der Loo and Els Lubbers, a kite expert and an arts promoter. They decided to collaborate to create a Gallery in the Sky. Twenty one artists from The Hague were invited to paint onto large Edo style kites and together with his team of technicians and flyers, Gerard flew the exhibition as the Hague Air Gallery.
The European Air gallery was an innovation promoted by Sunderland City Council early in 1994 when the first phase of the project was launched. The inspiration for the project came from the Hague Air Gallery. This original Hague Air Gallery gained an international reputation and was an inspiration to many kite makers and artists alike across the world.
Basic technical information about the kites:
The kites are based on the Japanese Edo Kite with the sails made in rip-stop nylon. The frames are made from detachable fibre glass and carbon fibre spars.
The kites are rectangular standing 2.4 metres tall and 1.4 metres wide.
The kites have 17 bridle/flying lines about 30 metres long, arranged in two groups, each terminating in a padded wrist strap, the top group ends in a red strap and when pulled causes the kite to climb, the other strap is yellow and is the handle for descent. The bridle lines all pass through a plastic grid to keep them separated and running free. The ascent and descent of the kites can be controlled using the two handles but very little control can be exerted on any lateral flight. This system of two handle control was devised by the Vlieger Op team in Holland.