The work of four artists represented in Quiet Sound are, on the one hand part of a 'hot' post industrial society, whilst on the other hand their work seeks the organisation and meaningfulness that we associate with 'cold' societies. Whist we might identify the sense of calm and contemplation evident in their work with traditional ritualistic art forms, this however is achieved without any resource to traditional techniques or forms of representation, and within their work there is no pretence to the religious ritual or sacred significance of the art of other cultures. The artists represented in Quiet Sound all have an intellectual relationship to their work, and are aware. as western artists, of the contexts in which their work can be seen, heard and understood. Claire Barber is showing an existing body of work. Her sculptural pieces and photographs document her exploration of a quiet and neglected district of Nara, in Kyoto prefecture, Japan, to which she was drawn to make artistic interventions, both within the architectural context of the place and using of found materials on her return to UK.
All four artists are sensitive to the atmosphere of a site or place. Although they do not all seek to address issues of site specificity directly, the environment or Fermynwoods nevertheless provides the perfect context for this exhibition. It is a very particular place, calm yet complex: having both pubic and private spaces, of home, gallery and studio. While the notion of Quiet Sound gives impetus to an idea of art as a source of the contemplative, the location of Fermynwoods provides a physical and atmospheric framework that the artists can respond to, while expressing their individual concerns.
Text by exhibition curator: Kate Stoddart
Artists: Claire Barber, Karen Downing, Chiaki Kurukizawa and Leigh Toro