Disabled artist, Zoe Partington has been commissioned by The Public in West Bromwich and DASH, to create a permanent piece of art for the gallery as part of DASH’s project IN ‘Disability art in the mainstream’.
Sound Canvas is taking shape and is currently being installed.
DASH is a Disability Arts development organisation, which works locally, nationally and internationally with disabled people in partnership with arts and cultural organisations to develop Disability Arts practice. Responding to a call for submissions, Zoe was commissioned to develop an interactive and engaging piece of work for the gallery’s ramp with requirements that it would be accessible and engaging for all ages and abilities.
The principle aim of Sound Canvas, which acts like a digital harp, is to invite people to play sounds that are familiar to them, such as laughter. The artwork can be triggered by everyone without any need for complicated interaction such as pressing buttons. As visitors interact with the artwork, they will create their own unique audio-visual experiences using movement.
Zoe’s work is about how we view our world and questions, ‘What is a canvas? and “Who decides that it has to be visual?”
Speaking of the commission, Zoe Partington said: “Creating this installation has been both inspiring and at times overwhelming – but the world of sound installations really is incredible. After experiencing the Witness piece at the Susan Hillier exhibition at Tate Britain some time ago, I learnt that interaction with artwork is very powerful. Out of the many discussions which I had regarding Sound Canvas, I agreed to use the laughter of people in the building – these are sounds and emotional chords that people won’t forget.”
Mike Layward, Artistic Director of DASH said: “This is a very exciting time for DASH. Zoe’s piece is the first of five commissions, four of which are based in the West Midlands. This project aims to increase the number of Disabled and Deaf artists exhibiting in mainstream galleries. We hope that Zoe’s installation will be enjoyed by everyone for a long time.
Sound Canvas will change over time and new familiar sounds will be added to provide fresh experiences for visitors over the next 3 years. For more information about exhibitions at The Public visit www.thepublic.com or call 0121 533 7161.