We propose to create a sound and ceramics collaboration of wall based ceramic relief features and a multi-channel sound installa2on, both inspired by and created in response to Shetland’s landscape. We will work closely together to translate the geological and biological environment around Scalloway Booth into a beautiful immersive installation.
Inspired by the work of John Cage, who did much to popularise the idea of everyday sound being considered as music, we have taken the title of one of Cage’s famous compositions “In a Landscape” as the starting point for this exploratory and innovative collaboration between sound and ceramics.
The soundscape will take the listener on a sonic journey through the land and seascape of Shetland, weaving abstract and concrete sounds recorded in situ into a sonic and immersive evocation of place.
The ceramic component will comprise of a series of wall-mounted features that cover multiple surfaces in the Shetland Museum gallery. Each wall will represent a single feature or area of landscape through an arrangement of delicate frond-like relief applications referencing living organisms in the coastal landscape.
An application has been accepted to undertake a residency at Scalloway Booth for August 2015, during which time Kay will sketch the landscape and make prototypes and Joseph will collect field recordings for the eventual sound piece for the exhibition. Following the residency, the artists will make the finished exhibition pieces in their studios and return to Shetland to install the work, organise the private view, and deliver workshops with the local community at the end of March 2016.
The idea for this project first surfaced when Kay was working in Shetland in 2010. She was commissioned by Shetland Islands Council to work with the small community of Voe to create permanent sculptures in a school playground. The brief was to create something that could be used for play and contemplation. The final piece, Paddock Stools, comprised of five “toadstool” structures embedded into a grassy area, constructed out of reinforced concrete and completely clad with porcelain mosaic. The project was considered a big success and is documented on the dedicated blog www.a-n.co.uk/link/KayAplin-Shetland.
This exhibition proposal is a continuation of an ongoing collaboration that started in 2010, when Kay and Joseph worked together on a public art project for Bri2sh Waterways, in which Kay worked with older people to produce designs for a series of large-scale sculptures, whilst Joseph produced sound pieces to accompany the work. We also collaborated on a commission for HOUSE 2011 at the Brighton Festival, Base Sound :: Sonic Gold. For this, Joseph recorded the sounds of Kay making her ceramics in the studio, tracing a journey through the physical sounds of moulding and modelling through to glazing and firing, overlaid with interviews. He then composed these into a headphone based audio piece, which accompanied visitors to an exhibition at The Ceramic House.