Inspiration Residencies Site specific work Sound recordings Studio space Wildlife

Residency to draw the sound of birds in Sweden

One of the works in progress for a sound recording taken outside my flat, featuring a blue tit.
One of the works in progress for a sound recording taken outside my flat, featuring a blue tit.


28 February 2013

I’ve developed a proposal to work in residence at Saxnäs in Northern Sweden, after exhibiting and receiving awards for new work, ‘Pigeon Clock Graph’ and ‘Pigeon Feather Pie Chart’.

The 3-week residency will allow me to develop the visual side of my practice, to create drawings in response to bird song; inspired by Czech visual artist Olga Karlíková and her work ‘Audible landscapes’.

My studio will be based in the vast wilderness, directly above a bird migration path, where I will work with a local bird expert to identify species and develop an individual drawing/symbol, which I feel best represents a bird’s voice, based on tone, pitch, direction, speed and pattern. This will be collated into an identification register and used to create a visual composition (similar to a music score), using a variety of drawing mediums and techniques, including on-site responsive drawing and drawing whilst listening to sound recordings in the studio. I have agreed to give a talk and exhibit my new work as part of an open studio to artists and local residents at my studio in Saxnäs.

Im currently brushing up on my bird watching/listening skills using a Geoff Sample bird identification CD, but hope to purchase a birdvoice lite pen which comes with a field guide, when the pen touches the field guide it plays back the songs and calls of the various birds or information.

I’ve applied to Arts Council England for funding to support the residency, if I am successful I will be able to purchase new equipment, meet with curator Stella Couloutbanis for mentoring sessions and receive support from the Wildlife Sound Recording Society for a feature on their website and journal.

Lucy Stevens’ artistic practice examines the acoustic ecology of the natural environment, using field recording, digital illustration, performance and printmaking as a tool to visualise sound produced by wildlife, weather and other natural phenomena.

1 comment on “Residency to draw the sound of birds in Sweden

  1. Pingback: Lapland adventure | Drawing birdsong

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