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NIGHTINGALE


This sound installation was originally conceived for the Charlton Centre multi-storey car park, in Dover, Kent as part of the 'Paradise Revealed' group show.

It makes use of a recording of a male nightingale calling out for a mate. The bird’s song is a rich and virtuosic collection of short phrases, ranging from bubbling motifs, engine-like chugging sounds and high pitched repeated crescendos. As such, it has found its way into our canon of literary and poetic works – from Keats to Shakespeare, where it symbolises love, hope and reflection.

In the sound installation, the recorded birdsong also calls out - not only to the nearby wildlife but to other users of the car park as well, reaching beyond the immediate space and to the different shopping levels below. According to the Centre Manager, the birdsong had the effect of attracting people up from the different floors where they have parked their car. The bird calls out for a female partner, but attracts humans….

The ever-changing song comes from a one-speaker-source hidden from obvious view, enticing the listener to search, and therefore relate to, the space in a different way. The listener is encouraged to not so much listen to the work directly but to perceive the space through the work, and hence the physical space of the car park feels different. (It is this detail which led the car park’s owners (‘Targetfollow’ – a leading commercial property investment and development company) to purchase the work so that it could become a permanent feature, as one result is that the Car Park is perceived as a safer and friendlier space).


A4 Info - installation details (same as this page).
Blog - written during the creation of the sound installation.
Notes - further information about the installation.
Poster - advertising debut exhibition.
Review - Martin Herbert review (extract from "This Side of Paradise").


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