This project evolved during a period of temporary hearing loss in my left ear which left me profoundly aware of the sounds that envelope me every day. To attune myself to this phenomenon I began a practice of listening meditations that soon led to these drawings.
Situating myself in various gardens, I attentively listen to the repeating rhythms of the calls and songs of the birds in residence. Using both hands to mirror my left and right ear, I responsively make marks that correspond to the surrounding sounds. I do not look at the drawing as it is being made, surrendering composition to impulse and chance. Each drawing is made over a prescribed period of time, determining when it is finished. Weather conditions, time, date and place are noted and, using an ornithology app, the birds heard are identified and recorded on the back. The notations locate these ephemeral moments within a specific place at a specific time.
Switching senses, from sight to sound, the drawings become records that give visual fidelity to my auditory experience. The tactile markings begin to feel like language and act as a sort of playback mechanism allowing me to share these fleeting encounters of sound with the viewer.
Collectively these observational studies are a diaristic journal. I find them free floating/falling and chaotic at the same time. Charged with energy and unsettled and therefore alive, which is how the world feels to me right now.
The act of making these drawings renews an appreciation of our connectedness to nature, our roles in shaping it and thus a larger sense of responsibility to preserve it.