The conception of this new project: a soundscape, comes from a deep love of nature and my firm belief that people need nature in their life. With a substantial increase in research by organisations and government agencies, the effects that nature has on mental well-being is being acknowledged. My art practice seeks to engage people with the possibilities of what art, nature and walking has for positive well-being.
I see a sound as a kind of vibrational architecture and it can express a community’s identity in a way that visual stimuli do not. Sound communicates mood, meaning and context and I will create a soundscape that shifts awareness from the built environment to one that is suggestive of nature.
As a part of a larger exhibition, this installation will be representative of the sonic reminders of our natural and built environments: the elemental and industrial aspect with wind, water, traffic and voices, as well as animal contributions. Whilst these sonic images will vary from person to person they still act as a means of sharing experience; with each other and with past events.
For this project, I am collaborating with a local musician, Ro Goodwin. His knowledge and expertise will add a different dimension to my art. He is providing his extensive knowledge in sound. This will enable me to tell a story that is both of its time as well as it being a valid interpretation of my artistic endeavour, to enable people to reconnect with their surroundings and each other.
The potential of what creating art can do for well-being is what drives my work: embodying the values of people and place; being a part of the rhythms and textures of nature and reconnecting to the patterns and the magic of life around me. The excitement of this shared experience either in the creation or the discovery of art, is where my magic moments live. Using a process of deep mapping; investigating the culture, emotions and spiritual aspects of place seeks to create a sensory response to the numerous identities that go towards constructing the human experience of place. (The image below is from the Sunday Social group that meets and walks in many locations, with anyone who wants to join in.)
By walking, talking and creating art wherever I find myself, I am exploring new ways to engage with the environment and well-being. Art can be healing and when I create art in nature, I connect to something deeper: a source for ideas, for inspiration and for insight.
Typically, there is much confusion when it comes to participatory, socially engaged art. The set of tools that the artist has, is both expansive and complicated. My art practice has evolved from my counselling background and my years of crafting and making. With this soundscape, I am exploring how as an artist I can learn to actively listen, produce stillness through movement as well as how to find new ways to engage with well-being. (A friend and I playing and making Nature Art (Inverness) in the images below)