Participant Voices in Community Art by Emily Peasgood
Composer and sound artist Emily Peasgood discusses participant voices in community art with reference to VOICE100, a project she created in 2018 that includes the speaking voices of 100 men, women and children augmented into a contemporary beat poem. VOICE100 is a contemporary electronic surround sound work about how women are perceived 100 years since they started to receive the right to vote.
Emily Peasgood is a BASCA award-winning composer, sound artist and visual artist.
She creates interactive artworks for galleries and public spaces, ranging from large-
scale community events to intimate sound installations. Her work uses intricate
sound and technology design to create a connection between people and locations
that have become forgotten and undervalued. Peasgood aims to push the
boundaries of multi-disciplinary interactive sound installation and extend her
practice to the widest possible audience. Her work is described as magical (The
Times), evocative (The Telegraph), and memorable (A-N). Recent works include:
Never Again (Ideas Test, 2018), The Illusion of Conscious Thought (Coastal Currents,
2018), Requiem for Crossbones (Illuminate Productions for Merge Festival, 2018),
BASCA winning Halfway to Heaven (Folkestone Triennial, 2017), LIFTED (Turner
Contemporary & South Bank Centre, 2016), and BASCA nominated Crossing Over
(Turner Contemporary, 2016) and BIRDS and other Stories (POW! Thanet, 2017).
I believe sound can capture experience, truth and memory in a way no other sense
can. I view sound as a universal material that can be used to express feelings I can’t
easily express with other art forms. My work with other art forms, such as sculpture,
language, drawing and technology, support and augment the sound world’s I
create with material interventions that aim to enhance how visitors experience my
work. My creative process starts with research and often includes members of the
community, who participate in the research and performance process. I use sound
and music to portray a truth, a history, a feeling, a story; so it can exist through my
work. I want the viewer to become part of the work I create; to be able to touch and
interact with my work is important. Technology allows me to achieve this. My work
is based on situations that inspire me: sites that may be neglected or forgotten that
can be remembered through sound, locations that are taken for granted and can
be perceived differently through music, and the experiences of people.