YV2 Residency at Artspace Portsmouth

I’m just over halfway through my two weeks residency at Artspace Portsmouth. I started last week by listening to the 15 interviews created by the young people from Motiv8, and further 5 interviews of older adults in the community. There’s rich information, covering topics such as: What it’s like to be young, future aspirations, challenges and bullying, the Falkland’s War and Queens Jubilee. I was drawn to their conversations about mental health, bullying and challenges at school, as I felt it took courage to open up to this topic, and their voices should be shared for discussion.


This would work well with the located sounds of waves, Ferries and the general ambiance of Old Portsmouth, collected by myself and the young people during the first workshop, which took place on Wednesday 9th November. Whilst I was at the beach behind the Round Tower, I also noticed the Limpet shells firmly clinging to the rocks and wall of the tower. Their resilience, self-protection and methods of survival felt symbolic of the topics I had heard in the interviews.  Walking on the beach I picked up an old limpet shell. Its isometric geometry was fascinating, and I started to imagen the sculptural form taking shape through geometry. I drew pencil lines on the surface of the shell, dividing it into nine sections. Later I looked this up and found out it was called a Nonogon.


Back at Studio 1 at Artspace Portsmouth, I started to plan the sculptures by drawing the outline of three Limpet shells on larger paper. I prepared and tested the audio equipment that would be concealed within the three sculptural forms of the shells. Representing how the Limpets clung to the Round Tower, I decided the work would be wall mounted, so created wooden bases and brackets for all the sound equipment to screw onto the gallery walls. By using electronic WAV triggers and PIR sensors connected to three speakers I created three separate interactive sound sculptures. The sounds would be triggered by the movement of the viewers in the gallery space. The positioning would be decided by the young people. I worked on the content from conversations with the young people about which of the located sounds that they recorded they preferred. Generally, one sculpture would produce the sounds of the waves breaking on the shoreline, the second the Isle of Wight Ferry and the third the interviews.

Tonight I will be working with the Young People in the second workshop, teaching them skills in setting up the electronic equipment, installing it onto the walls, and deciding where each sculpture should be positioned. There will be lots of hands on work with hand tools and electric drills, problem solving and working as a team. I’m looking forward to sharing the work and process with them.

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