Only recently have I moved on from classical, black and white photography, to moving image work. From this traditional practice I have taken a
compositional style that’s evolved into movement.
In my artistic practice, I gravitate toward spaces which naturally embody a felt distance and melancholia. Having grown up in Berlin and lived away
from my usual urban home context, I constantly contemplate the expression of home and what certain places mean to me. I seek out spaces where I am
able to be solitary in my thoughts, to feel small amongst the immensity of landscape and in turn steady myself in the deep time of a place such as the
Highlands. The process of being alone in landscapes with a camera has evolved my own relationship to the medium and made me attentive to the
potential sublimation of photographic imagery. This in turn, has greatly informed the ways in which I’m able to now construct and relate to a
soundscape moving image work. I am predominantly a sound artist and work extensively and eclectically with ambient sound compositions. I am
obsessional in my pursuit of music, in the recreation of stories through the subversive and euphoric inclusion of sound, transforming contexts and
rooting me to place. In doing so I am able to place myself within the acoustic intimacy of spaces, as well as visually.
THE FOG & THE CLOUDS
Film one depicts the Highlands, specifically locations along the west coast and up towards Skye. My intention was to navigate the deep time of the
landscape inherent in the rock formations and the density and intricacy of the forms arisen from centuries of weathering. Hence my decision to capture
them in harsh conditions, amid storms, wind and rain. I wanted the places to have no human intervention, to be devoid of any people- to stand alone
amongst the mountains. Fog played an important role, it’s ephemeral, shifting quality obscured the peaks I walked across. I held the camera by hand so
it moved along with the weather, rather than having it static and inhuman, I wanted the viewer to feel that they are lone visitors- that they have been
granted access to the all-encompassing and overwhelming power of the ancient forms. To feel the weather amongst it. My use of a soundscape was
intended to mimic this power, for it to feel as transcendent as the cosmic interplay of land masses- the sense that humankind are somewhat interwoven
and have arisen from the same particulates; yet the mountains bear their own time. Can we anthropomorphise the faces on the mountains- project onto
them our own understandings despite feeling so small amongst them?
We are tied by the same gravitational pull toward earth. Particularly in a place of this scale. Storms have to navigate their own pathway through the
mountains, as do we. Having one set of headphones per piece accentuates the lone aspect of the mountains. I hope to envelop the viewer within this
world- The ambient sounds conjure a sense of their magnitude and how I imagine deep hollow land forms might sound amongst the weathering. The
shots I chose try to assemble a different world; Through the use of the camera shot in black and white, I’m attempting to neglect the present and bring
forth the past or an imagined futurity; one which exists post-humanity and untouched.
On the contrary, the second film is of the clouds shot from above. Their ephemeral quality juxtaposes the static, weighted mountains. Through
continuity and saturation of the shots we drift away from the earth and into the ether, a dreamlike floating state of being. We view the earth from afar,
the clouds obscure our comprehension of time. I left them as they were, naturally saturated; yet they appear in a synthetic glow, the optical unconscious
of the digital lens; a 1% discrepancy from the actual human eye. How do we relate to these compared to that of the first film? They are distinctly
separate yet interwoven into our subconscious relationships to the universe.
THE FREE SOUND CHOIR
Sound Installation, 4 x DVD players and speakers.
Recorded voices chanting and breathing play quietly from speakers in each corner of the room surrounding the central chamber, creating a full room experience, a circumambulation around the centre. The space reflects the sacred geometry of a circle in the centre of a square, the four corners representing balance, the four seasons, the four elements, the four directions. The centre symbolises the cycle of life and death, the Self, the divine, the essence.
The sound recordings are from a performance I facilitated in the Reid Gallery, the Free Sound Choir. A group of us improvised singing in the resonant room. We first lay down, breathed through our bellies and exhaled aaaaa in time with our breath. This is the part of the recording played in the installation. The singing gives a subtle prompt to the audience interacting with the chamber, to sing. The recording picked up resonance created in the room, an angelic high-pitched hum.
The same sound piece is played from all 4 DVD players, beginning together at the beginning of the day. Over the day the singing naturally comes out of sync due to the nature of the technology, in the same way that our voices sang out of sync due to our breath.