Shannon Pearls. 13.11.22

Taking the definition of art to one of its most natural yet difficult conclusions, it seems like local multi-media artist Shannon Pearl enjoys avoiding the easy route when it comes to her work.

Already developing a strong reputation for both her visual and sonic art, Pearl returns with Ghost, an exploration into one of her favourite topics; that of heritage.

“I live by the coast and can’t help but feel inspired by the Northeast coastline” confirms Pearl “it’s such a natural place of wonder and beauty and I just wish more people could visit it and feel the same inspiration that I do”.  Mixing the natural beauty of the Northeast coastline with an attempt to connect with those who have gone before us, Ghosts is a project which deeply considers the premises of space and time and asks the big questions about what it means to alive.  “Ghosts started off as project partially which thought about those who lived in the Northeast before we did; who were they and what would they think of the way we live now?  At the heart of the art is the question about connecting and communicating with the people and the places of the past”

Starting off the Ghosts project in the auditory medium (there are four glorious vocal pieces at the heart of the work), Pearl’s first task was to try and record the spirit of various places along the Northeast coastline “in some moments I would record some of the actual sounds that I heard in each of the places I went to, and at other times I would try to sing and create the sound of the ambiance and atmosphere that I heard.  I was trying to capture the spirit of the place I was, as well as recording live sounds that one day would be ghosts themselves”.

Building on top of the ambiance and soundscapes, Pearl then used a combination of visual art, stills, photography and physical items (“like pebble or grains of sounds from each of the locations”) to complete a full three-dimensional piece that captured the heritage of a location; “I think of this art as trying to capture the moment and the space of that place in one snapshot, so I tried to create pieces of art that weren’t just about vocal loops but also about reflecting the feeling of the place by using images and materials from the location.  The intention really is to be able to use the art to help people transport to these places and be inspired by these places in the way that I am.”

Inspired but at times overwhelmed by the possibilities of what each space could be (“sometimes it felt like these huge jigsaw puzzles in the way that I was trying to line up sounds and imagery and art and vocals and physical items”) the result of Ghosts is a Sound Art project bristling with both huge ideas and minute detail.  Released online on Dec 8th, and exhibited in Poprecs Sunderland from the 8th December, Ghosts is a hugely ambitious combination of art and sound, which at the heart talks about the importance of remembering that one day we too will be ghosts; “we have to remember that we are all part of nature, and natures natural cycles”.