Inspiration Site specific work Sound recordings Wildlife

Bradgate Park and mono printing

19 April 2013

Goldfinch monoprint
Goldfinch monoprint

Bradgate Park is one of my favourite parks and one that I have visited since I was a kid tearing around in my bauer skates and playing hide and seek, or as we called it ‘free pod’ in the tall bracken.

The park is very popular and with previous recordings, Ive found it difficult to record just the sounds of wildlife without capturing people talking and dogs barking. This time I managed to find a spot where I was undisturbed; leant against a small wooden fence containing a young tree (probably to keep the deer away) and sat on my coat in the sun, in-between pathways and surrounded by dry bracken. I used my Marantz PMD660 with my Rode NT55 mic with interchangeable omni/cardioid capsules (I used omni), with a Telinga parabolic dish. From all the sound recordings I took, Ive selected very short sections which feature different areas of the park and different birds, although the sun was shining, it was difficult to avoid the wind completely.

Deer hair and bracken monoprint
Deer hair and bracken monoprint

This sound recording was taken at the nest of a group of Jackdaws, who had made a nest in the gap of a tree trunk at Bradgate Park. Jackdaws often pull out deer hair and add it to their nest, so I collected some hair (I didnt pull it out there was a clump on the ground!), bracken, leaves, grass and feathers to take to a monoprint workshop at Lakeside Arts centre with Leicester Print Workshop, led by artist and tutor Kate Da’Casto. I hadn’t done any monoprinting for years and wanted to use this method as its one of the most versatile, with one of results and a technique that can be used in the field.

Listen to Jackdaws, 38 secs

Listen to Carrion Crows, Blue Tits and a Goldfinch, 22 secs

This sound recording features Carrion Crows, Blue Tits and a Goldfinch at Bradgate Park. The mono print (below) has been layered with 3 colours- Yellow, Magenta and Cyan. This print was created by layering objects and stencils including bracken, leaves, feathers and a silhouette of a blue tit.

Listen to a Mistle Thrush contact/alarm call, 32 secs

This sound recording features a Mistle Thrush contact/alarm call- this was captured from a distance using the parabolic dish, the ratchet-like call gets louder as it flies above my head.

I plan to use natural objects to create monoprints as well as drawings and sound recordings to document the sound of bird vocalisation, both during and after my residency at Ricklundgården studios in Southern Lapland.

CYM colour blue tit monoprint
CYM colour blue tit monoprint

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.

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