Songsmith (Fragile Homes)
120 x 25 x 25 cm
M1, marble dust, electroplating, speaker, circuit
Edition of 4
A golden instrument that repairs or transforms an object or place in order to reveal an aural narrative.
The artist Jenna Burchell shaped the word ‘songsmith’ to encapsulate a process within her practice. By embedding songsmith into objects or places, the artist creates sound responsive archives that sing about people, places and events within the vicissitudes of time. These archives are part of Burchell’s continued fascination with how technology can be incorporated into the natural world so as to explore and preserve ephemeral landscapes of experience and memory.
Burchell’s Songsmith (Fragile Homes) collection is part of this greater Songsmith project. This collection consists of bones and remains that Burchell encounters during her various expeditions into ancient landscapes such as the Cradle of Humankind and The Great Karoo. She finds herself drawn to these vessels that once contained life; drawn to the visible trauma of the bone. Burchell’s delicate and ritual manner of embedding a songsmith into these fractures transforms the remains into contemplative memorials. Their song, which is an in situ recording of the grounds electromagnetism, comes from Burchell’s pallet of sound creation that relates to landscape in her work. She uses it here, as an ode to land’s delicate entanglement with life and death.