By placing contact mics on the drawing surface, the artist performs a “Musical drawing” combining movement, mark making and sound in a live collaboration with electronic musician Robin Sherry Wood. The traces of the conversation between artist and musician became visible through the drawing. Sherry Wood’s sound system was connected to six old TV sets, which displayed bright light patterns triggered by the sound, animating the space with futuristic energy. This video documents a live performance on the opening night of Foundation16, an arts festival Curated and directed by Brendan Fox, which took place in 2016 in Tullamore.
Over several months in 2015, Paola used contact microphones to amplify the sound of gestural drawing and Robin Sherry Wood responded with his electronic music. This intensive practice resulted in Elements, a collaborative, largely improvisational performance, which relied on some basic movement and sounds parameters.
Elements was first showcased at The Sonic Laboratory, in the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University in Belfast, in 2015, as part of Sherry Wood’s Masters assessment. The event was received with great interest and the opportunity to collaborate again came up at Foundation16, curated by Brendan Fox in Tullamore in 2016. The work activated the exhibition space and was captured by video.
The body of the performer mediates between mark making and sound technology. Emerging from a minimal choreographic starting point, based on simple movement parameters, an improvised exploration develops. The span of the artists’ body determines the shape and scale of the drawing, while her movements and the contact of the graphite with the paper are made audible through the microphones.
This work examines an engagement with listening as experienced by both artists and the audience, it invites both embodiment and sound making into the realm of the visual. A dialogue based on rhythm and sound unfolds between the collaborating artists as they perform.