'Forest Listening' at Watts Gallery
Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village
7 September – 4 October
From 7 September (until 4 October) visitors to Watts Gallery & Artists’ Village can experience the audio visual installation Forest Listening. The installation, which will be sited in the Limnerslease woodland, brings together the sounds of a rainstorm recorded from beneath the forest floor with visualisations of these sounds, presented as a series of blueprints hanging from the trees.
Made in partnership with Surrey Hills Arts and Watts Gallery Trust, Forest Listening explores our relationship with trees: can the simple act of listening reignite our interest in these fascinating and complex living beings? Can we re-learn their value and importance as the climate and ecology of the world break down?
During the summer of 2019, I recorded the sound of rain beneath the sandy forest floor at Blackheath Forest, also located in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From this sonic data, I created a visualisation of these sounds, showing the pitch and volume of the raindrops as they crash into the forest floor.
Forest Listening is the culmination of this project, through which I seek to re-connect humans with our non-human companion species – the trees.
As visitors wander through the woodland at Limnerslease they can listen to the sound file on the Smartify app or via surreyhillsarts.org. A series of cyanotype prints, visually interpreting the rainstorm, indicate listening zones within the woodland.
Ellen Love, Community Programme Curator at Watts Gallery & Artists’ Village, said:
“The Limnerslease Woodland, which surrounds the home and studios of the founders of Watts Gallery, George and Mary Watts, acted as a source of inspiration to both artists. The couple named their house and the woodland Limnerslease because 'Limner' is the Old English word for artist — and 'lease' — to glean hope for the future so it is all the more fitting that artists, like Liz, exhibit work in the woodland.”
For further information about the project and event: