Without a Sound – exhibition of Melissa Smith’s prints at Devonport Regional Gallery


Skeletal gnarly tree at Lake Sorell in Tasmania. It’s reverberations provide an auditory backdrop to Smith’s “Without a Sound” exhibition of prints.

It seems like a lifetime ago that Melissa and I walked along the shoreline of Lake Sorell in Tasmania. Melissa was working on a new collection of prints to be exhibited at the Devonport Regional Gallery. They were to feature the many elements that constitute the mid highland’s lake area, a body of water which seemed to me to have a sense of restlessness under it serene surface.

The lake was a challenging space to record. Keen to avoid the obvious sounds of water, we spent a number of days in cold and windy conditions directing the microphones towards objects which rested at the lake’s perimeter. We wanted to listen to the soundmarks that lay undiscovered, the layers of sound that moved in the currents of air, much like the ripples on the lake’s surface.

It was mid-morning when we came across a grove of dead trees. Their slow decay was in perfect harmony with the steady movement of life that surrounded us. I attached contact microphones to the base of the tree (pictured) and sat for a period of time listening to the rising and falling of air passing across their remains.

The field recordings are now being played into the gallery space exhibiting Melissa’s work. If you are in Tasmania, please visit the Devonport Regional Gallery to view the work. 

One thought on “Without a Sound – exhibition of Melissa Smith’s prints at Devonport Regional Gallery

  1. I can imagine that the combination of Melissa Smith’s prints and your soundscapes in a gallery space are quite amazing. Sadly a little too far to travel from Scotland, but enjoyed the reverberations of the gnarly tree as a taster. Thanks


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