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Project Statement
Parallel Relay is an ongoing project by sound artist Esther Ainsworth and light artist Kirsty Dixon. The duo have been collaborating for the last 12 months considering how they approach and respond to unique locations which inspire them.

The first Parallel Relay event took place from the 1-4 of November 2012, following a 3 month research period. This four-day exhibition explored the history of Bow Church and its location on an island, isolated in the centre of a main road. Both artists considered the conflict between the overwhelming noise and stress of the road and the serenity and contemplative atmosphere found within the church. Light and sound sourced from the location were manipulated and relayed back within the building to create a series site-specific installations and performances.

For Esther the work became an evolving, immersive sound environment and a platform for a series of improvised performances responding to the patterns of the traffic using the church organ, live sound and loops to build a sonic relationship between the world outside and the interior of the church.

Kirsty considered the transformative effect of light, using it to reinterpret existing features in the church and recreating elements of the building lost through time and damage in the form of ‘light shadows’ using footage and sequencing from the road surrounding the church as a starting point. The abstraction and simplification of real-time footage allowed the viewer to associate their own thoughts and experiences with the imagery, replicating the contemplative and reflective atmosphere found in a place of worship.

It was intended that this project would literally give the church a voice and presence through sound and light, creating a virtual bridge between the church and its community. The work has resulted in a relationship and dialogue between the chosen mediums independently utilised by each artist, and also between the artists and the church community.

Following the success of the first Parallel Relay event, Esther and Kirsty have been invited back to Bow Church as Artists in Residence for 2013 to create further site specific work and curate a series of events. Although this residency is still in its infancy, both artists are very much looking forward to each stage of the twelve-month project which will sit alongside the personal practice of both artists.

This idea of duality and virtual bridging has lead both artists to consider other interesting locations for site specific projects. For Esther, the project has seamlessly integrated with a residency which she is about to take up in Slovakia, using the Maria Valeria bridge as an inspiration to create virtual bridges and networks on the Slovakian/Hungarian border. Esther intends to involve Kirsty in the realisation of some of this work in spring 2013.

Kirsty has begun work on a hospital based project with the intention of exploring the division between the internal and external again, this time with the hospital itself taking the metaphor of the island for the patients being treated there.

Both Esther and Kirsty are looking forward to an exciting year in 2013 and hope and hope that you will join them in the development of their practice. For the latest Parallel Relay exhibition and event info click HERE and for more information on the artists individual projects visit estherainsworth.com and kirstydixon.com

To view images from the Parallel Relay exhibitions click HERE