MA, BA (hons, First Class)

The Somnambulist's Field Guide


This piece takes the form of an immersive sculptural soundwork, part ritual involving deprivation of visual stimulus and the use of magickal herbs, within which the audience were be given the opportunity to experience a simultaneously singular and collective, focused interaction within the (other)space conjured within the gallery environment.


The Somnambulist's Field Guide took place as part of the Generator Summer Programme in Dundee, August 2014.

Introductory Notes

I’d like to invite you to join me in something of a shamanic ritual; a process of both personal discovery and of collective experience. If you could turn your phones off or at least mute them that would be appreciated.

I’ll ask that you enter into the spirit of collective experience by using the blindfolds provided. By removing the visual stimulus, it pulls the mind closer into the realm of pure experience. Freed from sight’s rigours, the brain will be able to process information on a different level, if allowed to, and given the space, to do so, the brain’s pattern recognition circuits imprint and extrapolate an experience of ‘otherness’.

As part of this collective ritual, you may have noticed the smell of mugwort in the air. This plant, one of the sacred 9 Herbs Charm has been used to smudge the space as a protector and purifier for the working. Mugwort creates a calming atmosphere and during sleep has been known to produce more vivid and lucid dream states. Roman soldiers would fold mugwort leaves and place them in the solves of their sandals when travelling to give them speedy and safe passage. It also acts as a very useful barrier against elf-shot.

Sound is a universal language, while contemporary art often relies on a specific reference points that the viewer may or may not be familiar with, we have all been processing sound for as long as we have been alive, using it to position ourselves and a host of other things within a spatial field. Like the other senses, memories attach themselves to sounds and we can immediately be transported in space and time.

Through the performance of this sculptural sound work, a new landscape will unfold around you, please immerse yourself with in it, explore it, allow yourself to notice landmarks and far off points, investigate, traverse, observe the changing tones and textures, the detail in the patterns, the inhabitants of this as you move through psychic space. Listen to the landscape and consider what it (or you) is telling you (or yourself).

Enough talk, if you would be so kind as to put on your blindfolds and get as comfortable as possible, relax, breathe and listen…


Excerpt of 50 minute performance: