The project at Mount Stuart is a sound installation, composed of new work in three separate parts, which focuses on my perception of the nature of contextual sound with the gardens and house. While the visual senses are bombarded with cultural and decorative information, the sense of sound—what one hears—is curiously muffled, sometimes deeply resonant, changing with the echoes of sea, trees, wind and weather. Inside the majestic interiors the visitor listens to real and imagined sounds, past and present, public and private.
A large bronze wind chime sculpture placed in the landscaped park refers to Taiwanese symbols of circular (enlightenment or the realization towards the ideal) and square (earth), and is supported by a net structure resembling a spider’s web. The public’s ability to enter the installation through or under these forms reflects the relationship between natural and man-made elements.
The journey through the house introduces further auditory experiences and a heightened sense of awareness. I use an invisible location (the Armory) as a source of sounds, here the echoes of live music lessons, which can be heard throughout the Palace.
A further installation of three canaries, each within its own bamboo cage within the conservatory, originally conceived as an astrological observatory and subsequently used as a surgical operating room during World War I, symbolizes repair, renewal, and the ongoing transformation of space.
All of the three sound performances are of an anti-performance nature. The canaries, the music students, and the wind chimes are all in a way performing, not for an audience, but just because of who and what they are. That an “audience” experiences their sounds is due only to chance and fate, not the audiences’ “attendance” at their performances.
2010 Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute