My practice consists of site-specific sound installations that explore the relationship between sound and architectural structures, including pipes, radiators and beams. These structures, often found in everyday architecture, reveal harmonic tones through physical interaction known as structural resonance. These sounds are serendipitous; they are only discovered upon interaction, through exploration and intervention. It is the phenomenon of structural resonance that holds my fascination as I explore its artistic potential within the context of sound art.

In my installations, I direct my audience to objects that are regarded as banal and functional and to think of them as having sonorous characteristics. To do this, the sound of the structure is recorded and then played back onto itself through the attachment of speakers or transducers. The speakers’ placement on the structures are minimal, sometimes hidden, challenging the audience’s expectations of the installation and prompting them to discover the sounds’ origin. Depending on the structure’s formation, the speakers are subject to unconventional surround-sound setups which shape the sound’s trajectory in a space. It invites the listener to unusual listening experiences and transforms their perception towards architectural structures.

My curiosity with sound is reinforced by the fact that I am hard-of-hearing. This is my primary relationship to sound; my hearing range and my hearing aids shape how I perceive my surroundings. It is through my setup and my method that my installations mirror the exploration and intense concentration to sounds that I experience every day. I bring audio and visual perspectives together through the use of technology and architecture.

Currently studying MA Sound Arts at the University of the Arts London.

Contact: sarah.f.birchall@outlook.com

Instagram: @sarahbirchall_artist

Exhibitions:

2021, Fickle Spaces BA Fine Art Degree Show, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 

2020, NAVIGATE Broadcast, online event (Facebook Live)

2020, Ääniaalto V, Tapaan Titeen Tila, Helsinki, Finland

2019, Square Metres: 11 Solo Exhibitions, Tasku Galleria, Helsinki, Finland
 

2019, BA Fine Art Year 2 Final Exhibition, Skippko, 2nd Floor, Yorkshire House, Leeds, UK
 

2019, Contact, The Faversham, Leeds, UK
 

2018, You.Me.I, LS6 Café, Leeds, UK 

2017, Fresh, The Undercroft, Norwich, UK

LEADS Collective Projects:

2020, 10 Day Art Challenge by LEADS Collective, Online Event

 

2019, Pub Quiz by LEADS Collective, Royal Park Pub, Leeds, UK

 

2019, Birthday Party by LEADS Collective, G.09 at Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, 2019, University of Leeds, UK

2018, Nice to Meet You (Installation) by LEADS Collective, G.09 at Fine Art, History of Art and 2018, Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, UK