RED Kites have been spotted flying at the National Centre for Early Music, in Walmgate, York.

More precisely, these birds of prey are the subject of an uplifting photographic art installation by visual artist Diane Howse and Scottish poet Thomas A Clark, open for public viewing until March 21.

A Slow Air is a collection of 16 photographic prints of Red Kites in flight over the Harewood Estate, first featured in an exhibition in the Terrace Gallery at Harewood House last year. The photographs also appear in a book, published with words from the poet, and the images can now be revisited at the NCEM, where admission is free.

The title relates to a type of Irish fiddle tune, known as "a slow air", where a musician will improvise around a melody, allowing each performance to have its own time and place. The photographs, when seen in sequence, are presented like a melody, unfolding as the birds move through the air.

York Press:

A sequence of photographs from A Slow Air at the National Centre for Early Music, York

Thomas A Clark says of the images: “The birds float and soar over the unseen landscape, their flight describing the contours of the fiddle tune. In fiddle music, the slow air is usually intended for listening rather than dancing…it situates the individual within the tradition. You might imagine the flight accompanied by the music, or more explicitly as itself tracing the cadences of an air.”

NCEM director Delma Tomlin adds: "We’re delighted to be hosting the exhibition here at the NCEM. It’s a very peaceful and quiet installation and complements the work we are engaged with in the wider city of York, promoting and enabling the positive benefits of arts and culture on the mind and wellbeing.

"We’re also extremely pleased to be showcasing the work of two talented artists and NCEM founding collaborators and supporters, Diane and Thomas, who have been linked with the NCEM since it opened and have work that is part of the centre's permanent collection. It’s wonderful to open up this little exhibition to more people living and working in York.”

The NCEM box office is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. The box office entrance is on Percy's Lane, which runs parallel to Walmgate, just off Navigation Road.