Sound and Vision

Simon Woolham (Curator)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Sound and Vision considers the interrelationship between the aural and the visual, mixing drawing and performance, audio and film, music and DIY paraphernalia, connecting through collaboration, each unique, multifaceted, and individual practice. The starting point of the exhibition is the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s recording of Low, the Bowie album from which the single Sound and Vision featured. Widely regarded as one of Bowie’s most avant-garde recordings, it is a seminal album that explored a ‘minimalist’ stripped back approach. This was an initial point of reference for the artists in Sound and Vision, and is made more poignant by his untimely passing. When Bowie recorded Sound and Vision in The Chateau d’ Herouville studio he thought it was haunted by the ghosts of George Sand, the cross-dressing female writer, and her lover, the composer, Frédéric François Chopin. Working collaboratively, John Hyatt and Hayley Lock use this as a starting point. Performing live at the private view, Hyatt’s guitar, The Holy Ghost along with Lock's hypnotist Graham Howes will en-trance Lock into the guise of Walli Elmlark. Elmark was the “White Witch of New York’ who Bowie visited to exorcise his own demons. Hypnotised into the persona of Walli Elmark, Lock will chase the ghosts of Chopin and Sands. The invocations and performance will be the unrehearsed forms of deep trance and their content will be open and spontaneous. Neil Webb’s piece Waiting contemplates “the gift of Sound and Vision” as referred to in the song by David Bowie. A space or blank canvas in which to think before creativity begins. The white space refers to the potential of creative thought, intellectual challenge and the enjoyment of making. There also lies within the possibility of writer’s block and the paralysis of being idealess. The LP sized blank sleeve is waiting to be filled; a quiet uncluttered mind able to make clear decisions is sought whilst trying to propel the thoughts of time ticking away. James Moore & Corrado Morgana experiment with the materiality of paper and focus on the description of a blue room in Bowie’s lyrics for Sound and Vision. The image of a blue room conjured in the song is tied together with The Orbs legendary Blue Room record, a landmark 40 minute track which came out of the club scene’s chill-out rooms. Moore and Morgana have a long running interest and participation in electronic and dance music scenes. Their audio work for this exhibition will re-capture the experimental drive of ambient techno, using various samples produced by recording the tearing, scrunching, and crunching of old flyers and press releases from PAPER. Anthony Donovan, an artist, composer, musician and writer, will present his film Five Spoilt Ballots. The work, filmed as a travelogue from a pale horse entirely on Hungarian beaches is a tribute to a hypothetical landlocked England. Donovan draws reference to World War II atrocities such as Oradour-Sur-Glane and the Library of Verdun as he references Cameron’s Britain. Sarah Evans continues her collaborative work with musicians The McKenzie Break to create a new animated work, which brings together drawn time-lapse animations with an improvisational score. The performance of the work focuses on the attention and scrutiny of the musicians as they articulate the pathos of the movement and rhythm of the animation. Ruby Tingle launches and performs her new EP Hymns for the Men alongside visual translations as new collage works on paper. The EP pays homage to various real and non-real masculine elements whilst acting as a semi-fictional memoir. Simon Woolham and David Moss (M4SK 22) is a collaboration making music, film, considered paraphernalia and re-digested ephemera. For Sound and Vision, M4SK 22 have meditated upon the happenings at the Château d'Hérouville in 1976, and concocted a series of channelled visions in song and visual form. Woolham has also ruminated on the trace and echoes of the drawn-out space and resonances of an old Cathode Ray TV, a reflection on the minimalist qualities of Low. For the private view the Sound and Vision will present a programme of live performances and presentations by the artists.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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