Lisa Stansbie’s project for the festival consists of creating a sound and film work that will respond to the location, architecture and history of Flat Holm, an island located five miles from Cardiff Bay in the Bristol channel and the most Southerly point in Wales.
The site responsive research will focus on the presence and absence of sound and sound ‘machines’ on Flat Holm Island. The resulting artwork will respond to the location, architecture and its histories in relation to the connection between sound and water. The sea conditions around Flat Holm were particularly dangerous for ships (there are many documented accounts of shipwrecks) prior to the foghorn station and the earlier lighthouse being built. The project will document and develop ideas from the now inert Foghorn Station (dating from 1908), which when it was active would sound warning blasts that could be heard from the Welsh coast.
Alongside this approach to architectural features on the island the work will research the historical narrative of the first wireless messages to be sent across water from Lavernock to Flat Holm which were developed by the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi in 1897.
Lisa Stansbie is an artist who has undertaken residencies and shown across Europe and the U.S. She works across the disciplines of film, sound, sculpture, photography and digital practices. She is also Head of The Department of Art and Communication at The University of Huddersfield in the U.K.
Recent work investigates the narratives, processes, rituals and apparatus of open water swimming and the architectural environments of water based activities focussing on the relationship between the water and its users. This work researches the associated personal histories of swimmers and swimming environments. Documentary processes and re-enactment are also engaged, with Stansbie as the subject of the study in the video series Acclimatisation (2012). The piece documents the body’s physical response to cold-water immersion and the method of acclimatising (habituation) over a set period of time, a process that is core to channel swimming training. Sandettie Lightship (2012) and Shipping Lane (2012) are part of a series of sculptural photographs made from the same apparatus that channel swimmers use to feed themselves during a swim. Tooting (2012) is a sound work that focuses on the community, site and landscape of Tooting Bec Lido in London by mixing ambient sound with that of the water suggesting alternate narratives, associations and ultimately memories.