a displacement of energy over 100 years
The scientific construct of entropy is compared to the evolution of human social behaviour through taking a series of related objects and creating a new paradigm for them. Wood from a 100 year old Methodist church organ that is fragmented in the wake of the closing of the church is rich with dust that echoes memories of the congregation, now also fragmented over space and time. Using sound, social media and sculpture to transform the organ fragments, the work plays with notions of the shift in energy from a community that existed when the organ roused a congregation in full voice, to the dissipated nature of community in contemporary society.
Arts Council England
Shieldfield Art Works (formerly The Holy Biscuit), Newcastle
Newcastle University Music Department
Dust on bedsheet
Dust from the organ wood is imprinted upon a cotton sheet, donated by the widow of the church organist. The circular holes in the planks of organ wood, that once held the pipes as they sang, are reminiscent of notes on a stave.
The dust and the sheet combine to re-unite organist, instrument and community, acting as a poignant reminder of their shared history, in a drawing that forms the basis of a musical composition, Entropy where the organ’s final song is revealed.
Composition, live performance,
digital recording, radio broadcast (29:12)
Entropy explores the dispersal of energy within a community through the creation of a contemporary composition based upon the print Lament. A sound installation that began as physical objects is transformed into a live performance for the organ and then ends as a digital entity, broadcast daily on basic.fm and into the gallery space until the end of the exhibition.
The craft that went into the creation of a church organ is dissipating, replaced by new crafts and ideas. The community that was once strong and vibrant is now dispersing, replaced by new forms of community.
Audio sample (2:15)
Organ wood, social media website
Established as part of a body of work exploring community within contemporary society, heartisanorgan exists on the internet and in the gallery space. heartisanorgan is a physical object: a wooden sound chamber from within the heart of a now disassembled church organ. It is also a digital object: a social media website holding images taken from photographs loaned by the former congregation of the same Robert Young Memorial Church in Gateshead. The digital images show the unnamed: pixels identified as faces but not recognised as individuals by the artist's computer and also not recognised by members of the church congregation in discussion with the artist.
Taking the concept of community as a social group built around common beliefs, shared memories, songs and stories, heartisanorgan provides a digital community for the unnamed. heartisanorgan enables dialogue between community past, present and future; and across space and time. The unnamed are given a digital identity through connections made with members of the former congregation in Gateshead and schoolchildren in Gateshead and Newcastle, who are encouraged to join the site and share memories with them.
Evolution of the Object (2012)
Organ wood, music box, dust prints on hole punched paper
Cyanotype print, organ wood
Series of 3, edition of 2
Fragmented images from three original photographs gathered from the former congregation of the Robert Young Memorial Church, Gateshead are glimpsed through the dismantled pipe racks of the former church organ. The images show the unnamed (faces not recognized by the artist’s computer) from each community represented in the original photograph.
Memory Transcribed I - VI (2014)
Series of 6, edition of 3
Negative spaces in dismantled wooden pipe racks of the former church organ
become the base for fragmented texts and images gathered from the former congregation of the Robert Young Memorial Church, Gateshead.