Hand Basin Sound Space

hand basin sound space2

During May and June 2014 I began work on this piece. It is a transition from the smaller sculptures and drawings that marked the middle of my Practice-led PhD Research. With this work I was concerned to communicate the feeling of space that emerged through my domestic observations. A bathroom basin was replaced in our humble home and I seized it as an opportunity to push my work into installation thinking. I constructed a timber frame and had mirrors cut to fit it- the glazier reported that it was especially difficult to oval for the basin but he did well. I created a very low tech system that allows me to take the mirrors on and off as the work is presented. I fashioned faux water using plaster and acrylic paint. Small speakers are embedded in the external water form and beneath the drain. A laptop, amplifier and subwoofer were put inside the mirror box to power these speakers and two larger speakers placed further away from the sculpture inside the exhibition space.

The sounds of brushing teeth and washing hands can first be heard coming from basin, these are gradually intertwined with spoken word and a guitar piece composed by my partner Dean. These sounds are then picked up and extended on the second set of speakers that sit away from the sculpture. This interplay of sounds across distance works to fill the space in a really interesting way. The volume increases on the second set of speakers until it fills the room with the sound of an ocean wave crashing.

This work was presented at the Artery in Warrnambool, a retired funeral home that has been converted in a gallery, retail shop and artist studios by the local arts co-op “The F-Project”. I was privileged to be the first artist to create an installation just for this small section at the rear of their gallery, it is a peculiar light well that, from local reports, provided natural light for the viewing of the deceased.

As always, you can click on these images for a closer look 🙂

hand basin sound space

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