Australian Sound Artist

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who is le abbaye Noirlac?

:: The work of Zur at le abbaye Noirlac ::

The past days have been spent acquainting myself with the abbey, it's surroundings and fellow Inhabit International residency artist Tara Gilbee. It is interesting entering a space that you have been fixating on for the past months - like meeting a character from a book. I was taken aback to find that I had already become attached to Noirlac and on experiencing it's delicate nature firsthand - was embarrassed by the flood of emotions that en slewed. 

If anything I was expecting to be disappointed after building up such expectations in my mind and on first sighting - I was. As we drove alongside the abbey, glancing out the car window my first thought was, 'Small?' Where are the towering watchtowers and grand arches I had assumed would astound me? Where is the size and sheer magnitude I have come to expect from 12th century cathedrals?'

And so I entered the abbey and began to realise why Noirlac is an experience in itself.

"It is small from the outside but large from the inside"
Paul Fournier: Noirlac director

If the abbey were a sound it would be an untouched field recording - one that is understated in it's nature yet so perfect that it need not be processed. The architecture makes use of the natural light. Windows are found where the best days sun passes through, walls and ceilings are neutral to the eye and invite the observer to feel a peace attached to their simplicity and the sounds!

On arrival the artist group Zur were presenting their research of Noirlac on a daily basis and we were lucky enough to catch to catch one of their performances. It was an exceptional introduction to Noirlac and one that acted as a major catalyst in my understanding of the space. Throught the sensory explorations of Zur, le abbaye Noirlac presents itself as an unanswered intrigue - one that stimulates pleasure for the observer via the curiosity that it evokes.

The beauty in it's space is uncomplicated

Light :: Air :: Sound :: Space :: Time :: Observation

Zur use these elements to create their own reiteration of Noirlac and I hope that through my work, with the use of my own choice of mediums and elements, I will be able to do the same.