'The Sculptor Speaks' was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award in the Sound Art category at the Ivors Composer Awards 2020. The Sculptor Speaks' is a resounding of a 1961 tape by British sculptor Barbara Hepworth. The tape’s initial purpose was for a pre-recorded talk, with slides, for the British Council. Having unearthed the tape at the British Library, Olivia Louvel has designed for it a complete new sound environment.
Fascinated by the interplay of voice and sculpture, Louvel's practice is built upon a long-standing exploration of the voice, sung or spoken, and its manipulation through digital technology. She is applying principles of sculpture to Hepworth’s voice to manipulate its texture, as direct carving - exposing the material itself, often resulting in the abstract.
Visually, Louvel draws from Hepworth’s singular sculptural relationship to the landscape of Cornwall. Emerging from the seascape, a geometric line is being slowly drawn, completing a full meditative cycle.
Premiered and broadcast on Resonance Extra as a version 1.0 [transmission] - 10/01/2020 - this audio-visual iteration [contactless] is for the digital realm , and will be followed by a gallery [installation] in the future. Working at the intersection of creation and documentation, Louvel broadens the understanding of Barbara Hepworth’s legacy through an aural investigation of the voice.
"Louvel exploits the rhythm of Hepworth's words, releasing the voice recorded from its original location in St Ives and allowing it to swim across time to a different century. The sculptor's cut-glass Received Pronunciation might be off-putting for the modern ear, but waves of technological manipulation have eroded its edges, turning it into a dreamy meditation on the nature of creativity."‘The Sculptor Speaks’, Deborah Nash, The Wire, [print], issue 440, p.90, October 2020.
Read O.Louvel, 'The Sculptor Speaks: resounding the archival voice of Barbara Hepworth’, Hummanity Commons, hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:34505/
audio composition, mixing: Olivia Louvel
visual production: Olivia Louvel
visual After Effects: Antoine Kendall
Thank you to Sophie Bowness, trustee of the Hepworth Estate
Resonance Extra / Resonance FM
DMSA, University of Brighton
[Hepworth Resounds] is in two parts.
The album 'SculptOr' is a suite of nine pieces based on Hepworth’s extensive writings. Available at catwerkimprint.bandcamp.com/album/sculptor