About the work:
Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 parts
Our lives are driven by logic; every choice, decision, movement and thoughts use logic, great or small, as a pivot point. When logic is challenged or seemingly defied we are forced to pause to assess, question and investigate the source of what, by human understanding, seems impossible or at least improbable.
Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 parts does precisely that. A long-term study of the worlds singing sands phenomenon and the environments that surround them. From the Kelso Dunes in Southern California to the Gobi Desert in China where Marco Polo experienced the singing sands in the 13th Century.
This project is inspired by three historic figures whom combined artistic practice with the collection of information to further mans understanding of the natural world; Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo Da Vinci & Charles Darwin.
Napoleon lead an expedition into Egypt where he brought some of France's elite scientists and artists to collect, document and map the brutal uncharted deserts and their flora and fauna which came to be known as the field of study called Egyptology. The savants created maps of the seemingly chaotic narrow alleys and doorways of Cairo, rendered countless illustrations of the creatures that lived in this hostile environment and transverse the barren desert collecting specimens. The most important discovery during this expedition was that of the Rosetta Stone, which unlocked the ancient hieroglyphs that had previously been thought to be writings of magical origin.
One of the rarest of genius’ the world has known was Leonardo Da Vinci, a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, inventor, geologist, botanist, writer and more. From his illustrations and investigations of the natural world, to his inventions realized only as sketches waiting for the world to catch up, often times hundreds of years later, to the simple phrase “The Sun does not move” which predates Copernicus which Da Vinci likely didn’t elaborate on considering the outcome would be considered heresy and would have resulted in death or imprisonment.
The Voyage of the HMS Beagle has always fascinated me, the fact that when Darwin stepped foot on the HMS Beagle the world was one thing yet when we stepped back on English soil after 3 years the world was entirely different and would never be the same again, even though it took Darwin a decade to come to terms with what he had discovered before turning all theory upside down with the theory of evolution. One of the things Darwin encountered on this expedition that he could never explain was the sound made by the dunes of the Chilean desert.
Booming Dunes will consist of audio recordings, photographs, drawings, simple maps and collecting sand from each location. The studies will be approached from an artist’s perspective rather than that of a scientist with final results being presented in an exhibition featuring sculpture, sound installations, essays, drawings, bronze sculptures, photographs and glass made from the sand collected.
I will present exhibitions per part as I complete different phases of the study, the selling of artwork at these exhibitions will aid my progress to the next chapter of the body of work, similar to the manner of which Christo sells his studies, drawings and photographs to move projects forward.
Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 parts when completed will contain a concentrated body of work that is inspired by the unknown, supported by objects and artifacts and bound together both visually and aurally. The study will likely inspire visitors to further investigate and possibly visit some of the locations and dunes to experience the phenomenon first hand.