Listening to Fransella’s Head in Landcsape
Over the past 6 months I have been producing 18 audio pieces for an upcoming exhibition I have curated named Habitat. Habitat, combining prints with 3-minute interpretive soundscapes responding to the artworks, will open at West Gallery Thebarton (Adelaide) on the 25th May. The exhibition features works by 9 established Australian printmakers whose work often explores the way in which identity is formed through location. The artists include: GW Bot, Jan Davis, Graham Fransella, Alexi Keywan, Martin King, Rona Green, Bruce Latimer, Travis Paterson, Melissa Smith. The 3-minute sound pieces highlight visual and psychological elements within the prints.
Why did I choose printmaking for this exhibition? Printmaking is a visual medium, but at its best it can trigger and inspire other senses. It is concerned with conveying sensory ideas of texture, space, smell and, in the context of the proposed exhibition, sound.
Why add sound to prints? The soundscapes offer a viewing beyond a literal understanding of the prints, enhancing the viewer’s appreciation of the work in a way that is absent in 2D representations.
I am really excited to have worked with some of Australia’s finest printmakers in this exhibition. Habitat showcases the work of some of Australia’s most talented printmakers whose diversity in style and content allowed for a variety of ways to place sound alongside the image.
Rather than ask the artists to tell me what they imagined the prints sounded like, I preferred to work on my own reaction to them. The space and colour depicted in Fransella’s Head in Landcsape suggested to me a lone figure in an open, expansive place, possibly one of Australia’s desert regions. Thus the sounds needed to be slow and sparse with enough space between them to not compete with the print itself. I added the sound of flies I recorded in the South Australian desert region alongside high pitched tones that convey the glistening of the sun reflecting from desert rocks and earth.
If you are in the Adelaide region please come along to Habitat.