Studio Extractions

Studio Extractions

I came across Arthur Doves work during my sound research for Craobh Rua’s sound inspired collaborative drawing. There was something in the act of being lead by the sound as opposed to the eye that I wanted to expand further. As a person living with tinnitus (yet I do not have ear drum damage), there is always sound. It lives as a constant in what I hear, sometimes modulated pitching or crackling. I imagine them as a series of lines and shapes to rationalize them, an echo of previous sounds. Music and tinnitus rolls together. As Dove himself said, “there is no such thing as abstraction,” preferring the term “extraction” to describe the essential relationship between his work and the world. For this series of small works, done in 3 stages I listened to a selection of punk/post wave.

Extracting moments – Energizing, disruptive sonic tonal shifts, energy spliced and knitted with my own internal sound monologue. Layering listening. Hands ripping, playing the instruments I have to hand. I hear myself conduct. Tape attaches torn forms to base. Extracting the un-seeable, using the ears.

I used acrylic paint, paper, tape and cold wax. Wax as material nod to cerumen, that lubricating substance excreted by the outer ear canal.

The ‘doing’ of these works was insightful, listening and mark making/painting as a method of collecting and researching. I spend a lot of my time listening to audience (and music), this time to reflect and make became an alternative narrative within my practice. Soundtracks of the past, remembered and made new and visual. In the music I became/become redefined constantly.

Becoming defined by the music is by no means a new thing, the punk scene has been prevalent in Dundalk for nearly 4 decades. We still attend gigs in a small pub called the Stags Head. It’s become a way of “aging in connection” with each other now. It has achieved a somewhat cult status as one of the last small authentic venues to see live alternative music, located halfway between Dublin and Belfast.


John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art, IV: Arthur Dove: Circles, Signs, and Sounds

Davis, Joanna R. “Growing Up Punk: Negotiating Aging Identity in a Local Music Scene.” Symbolic Interaction, vol. 29, no. 1, 2006, pp. 63–69. JSTOR, [Accessed 10 Nov. 2020.]