Sharonagh Montrose

Sharonagh Montrose A Lay of the Land, 2019

Boxing, short drain pipes, gravel, batteries, solar panels and sound equipment, dimensions variable.

For many, it is all about the view! It draws the gaze outward to sky and sea, beyond the sweeping contours and internal splendour. In conceiving and making this work, I was held in thrall by the jauntiness of movement within the outline of the headland; branches and leaves, grass and rocks shifted vision constantly as they responded to light, to wind and to tides. They reminded me of musical notation where each note retains a fluidity of expression, held in sway to time and orchestration. I wondered how this coastal outline would sound if placed into music.

Composer Gisèle Hill has created a sonic composition that communicates the physical description of the coastal outline with intertwining reference to geology and topography; Treble – as defined by notes abstracted from the visual geography of the coastal landscape; Bass – as defined by the maritime chart of depth and tidal change over the last century; Syncopation – as defined by topographical landscape; Refrain – as defined by the natural coastal soundscape; Tempo – as defined by specific protuberances and depressions in the landscape at the point where land meets sea. The sonic wave form speaks to the ear and to the body in visceral communication. We often forget that sound touches more than the ear: It touches all the senses.

Sharonagh Montrose

Born Northern Island. Lives and works on Waiheke Island.

Sharonagh Montrose is a soundscape artist with a background in music, science and languages. She uses sound as a primary medium to compose relationships between everyday objects and the space they inhabit. She explores the physicality of sonic waves and creates polyphonic soundscapes that are as much felt in the body as heard in the ear. Sharonagh has a PhD in Fine Arts from Elam, University of Auckland. She also has a BSc (Hons) degree from Salford University and a post graduate degree in education from Cambridge University. She exhibits regularly, and her work is represented in national and international collections. Recent works include Clevedon Sculpture Park, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail and Silo 6.