Small Silence installations explore the relationship between the environment and our perception of quiet. In creating and playing with transitory quiet spaces, we can better understand the conditions and processes that foster quiet and find workable ways of promoting stillness for health and wellbeing.
silence | absence exhibition
Reading Thames Festival
28nd - 29th October 2019
'Listeners' a short film response by Alex Genn-Bash
“Thank you to all the artists, organisers and volunteers. A brief but very enjoyable “oasis” of creativity off the busy walkway of the mall. Thank you. Mustafa
This live art exhibition by local artists responding to the ‘silence’ of the Broad Street Mall, concluded a summer of small silence workshops, soundwalks and installations in Reading. On Saturday 28th September, artists working in different disciplines as diverse as Islamic art, woodcut, videography, sketching, sculpture and modular synthesis fashioned work while visitors were invited to experience the creation of the work first-hand. On Sunday 29th September, the pieces remained in situ, complete or incomplete, as a still life, a memory of the creative processes undertaken.
Peter Driver (Artist)
"The idea of silence is not something I have paid much attention to within my art practice so I was interested to see where it might lead me. I had stained three woodblocks with black ink as part of my preparation for the session. Once we started, at 1pm, I sat in a meditative silence and considered the blocks for some moments. I became aware of the pattern of the woodgrain on the surface of the blocks. The pattern was quite different on each. I then began to cut into the wood with a u-gouge, improvising a pattern along the lines in the woodgrain.
From a silent and focussed beginning, the session became increasingly frenzied with observers, participants, questioners, commentators and admirers adding to the conversation. I created a set of two-colour reduction woodcuts prints in two colours and found that I was giving a running commentary to explain what I was doing to the people who had gathered to watch. From a silent start, the session developed to a gloriously messy, ink-stained crescendo!"
smalls silence installation
Reading Fringe Festival
22nd - 28th July 2019
"I enjoyed this - a spot of meditative calm in a Reading shopping centre that I did not expect!"
Shared spaces for quiet downtime are slowly disappearing from our town. This immersive sound installation explores ways in which the soundscape of our local quiet spaces - faith buildings, libraries, galleries and museums - support our sense of stillness and reflects on what value these spaces have for people in Reading today.
"This was wonderful and relaxing. Sound, especially nature sounds, help me to be still. Especially in this day and age with technology and many of us constantly "connnected", it's necessary to find a space where we can be still, present and in the moment. We would all benefit from more of these spaces, both inside and outside. Thank you!"
The Jam Factory, Oxford
13th July 2019
Through repeated listening, sound recording and exploration of experience, this project probes the simple act of sweeping. It is the mundane, everyday tasks and their associated sounds that are of interest. This is partly because their cultural and communal significance is often overlooked. But, it is mostly because ordinariness is in abundance, offering repeated opportunities to experience meaning, directly and intuitively. The work-in-progress was presented with other sound artists from across the globe at the Open Call presentations in July. To learn more about the work visit the Sound Diaries website here.
As I sweep, I gather dust and dirt, along with memories, imaginings and small achievements. I listen to the sound of the brush swish, knock on the skirting, reverberate around the room. The qualities of the sound expose my tension, intention and inattention. With the house empty, sweeping is a private recital. The performance is well-rehearsed, typically embodying a long history of forgetfulness, rounds of triumph and certain defeat and the surfacing of memories and plans from the dirt of the mind. At times, it can be other; a free improvisation, a connection to home, a disclosure of meaning.
Occasionally it is just sweeping.
Jelly's Conversation Space
21st - 27th November 2017
Residency with artist Mark Langley at Jelly's 'The Conversation Space' exhausting the audible, inaudible sounds of the space as well as imagining the history of those sounds. The week culminated in meditative listening sessions open to the public.