Quarrying Memory Gallery 4A Sydney 2000
In Quarrying Memory Sue Pedley continues her subtle investigation into the process of art-making, playing with its perennial materials, light and space, and exploring the potential overlaps between sound and visual representation.
The installation comprises two elements. Large, sensuous prints of various intensities of blue are aligned on one wall to mimic the row of windows in Pedley's studio from whose filtered light they took their form. On the facing wall, Pedley has transcribed the sound-waves of a jackhammer by weaving her trademark fine orange wool across a matrix of nails. The prints are cyanotypes, made by exposing paper treated with light-sensitive emulsion directly to sunlight for different durations and on different occasions throughout the day, throughout the year, in Pedley's studio.
The sound map of the jackhammer is made by first digitally recording the ambient sound from Pedley's studio—Pedley lives in inner Sydney and is constantly subject to the irruptions of building developments in close proximity. The recording is then fed into a software program and transformed into a graph of sound-waves, which is in turn drawn up and woven into a jagged lines directly onto the gallery wall.
In much of her work, Pedley attempts to give material presence to duration, either through performance—as in the occasions when she has constructed a work throughout the time of an exhibition—or through gestures which draw attention to time-dependent processes.
In effect, time is the predominant content of both elements of Pedley's installation. The cyanotypes literally record time: the longer the exposure, the deeper the hue. The woven wall-piece transposes sound in a way akin to a musical score: the essence of the music is its performance in time; as we read the music off the page we experience it temporally. Similarly, we experience the jackhammer's rumblings and grunts through reading this 'score', moving along its surface, witnessing its trembling responses to our movement.
This is an extract of a review first published in Like, 2000.