Sounds Interrupted


The Tent That Can Hear

Jessie Brennan, SC

Sounds Interrupted             25 April - 15 May 2019

Jessie Brennan
Stave Hill Ecological Park
London Bridge Station
Locus Sonus
Soundcamp (SC)

A live audio stream transmitted from a container roof at Stave Hill Ecological Park in Rotherhithe is played out from time to time on an array of speakers by the Reception at London Bridge Station.

The density and variety of birdsong in Spring reveals the biodiversity of what can be considered the UK's first urban ecology park, created some 30 years ago on rubble infill into abandoned wet docks. Sounds of workers, passersby, dogs, people playing sports at Bacon's College, construction and overflying aircraft can also be heard, reflecting the density of the urban setting and the layering of its soundscape.

The installation spans the weekend of International Dawn Chorus Day, a project initiated by the Wildife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country in 1989. IDCD draws attention to the continously changing wave of sound produced by birds and other organisms along the line of first light as the earth rotates. The dawn chorus is the subject of a public arts project over 6 years by Soundcamp, who organise a global network of listening points and produce Reveil: a 24 hour radio broadcast over the IDCD weekend, coordinated from Stave Hill.

Stave Hill was the successor to the William Curtis Ecology Park by Tower Bridge, not far from the present installation. Sounds Interrupted points to a lesser known history of urban ecology in North Southwark, of ongoing interest to artists, planners, activists and researchers seeking to think ecologically in and about the city.

Jessie Brennan is a London-based artist whose practice explores the inter-relations between people and places, informed by their social and political contexts and a direct engagement with the individuals who occupy them. Her practice is research-led and situated, taking the form of drawing, photography, installation, performance, film, writing and publications.

Soundcamp are an artist collective based at Stave Hill Ecological Park in London. Their work explores the ecologies - social, subjective and environmental - of sounds and particular places, through workshops, events and participatory technologies.

Image: Sounds Interrupted, London Bridge Station, On-site testing, April 2019
Photo: Sam Baraitser Smith

Supported by Arts Council England, University of Gloucestershire, Southwark Neighbourhoods Fund, North Southwark Environment Trust, TCV and individual contributors