Prize Winner

RSA New Contemporaries

School of Fine Art Sculpture & Environmental Art

Amy Anna Graham


Hi, my name is Amy Anna and I am a Glaswegian Artist. As an arts practicioner I value the importance of expression and notice the lack there off in day-to-day interaction. My work aims to find the connection between one another through the process of play, exploring this through the discovery of new communicative forms. My practice includes the creation of sound devices, the manifestations of space and the development of inclusive environments. The works that I make seek a relationship with the viewer to be ‘activated’, often involving the interaction of a couple or group, creating shared experince away from reality.

The sound devices I create are tactile and exhibited alongside multichannel live elctronics. I am interetsted in illustrating sounds capability to be harnessed, and used as a tactile material that holds memory, observing as it ripples out with our control.

‘The Control Room’ – Degree show installation
The Table Drum

‘The Control Room’ – Degree show installation

‘The Control Room’ is an Instillation piece that holds three works, pulled together into one living space:

  1. ‘The table’
  2. ‘The lampshade’
  3. ‘The stairs’

These works are each individually “Sound Devices”, all seeking the physical touch from a viewer to be activated within the space: guests are invited to tap the surface of the table and walk up the stairs to pluck the top of the lampshade. The installation uses contact mics, a mackie mixer, multichannel live electronics and speakers to play with spacial sound. ‘The Table’ and ‘The Lampshade’ have previouly been used seperatly as performative objects and solo works in group exhibitions, this installation pulls them together into there origional imagined home.

This work in rooted in an interest in understanding human communication through sound, testing the realities of sound in space, using it as material that is part of memory and history. Phyiscally and visualy the space is a study of a personal memory, a ‘scene’ from my childhood home. On a Friday night I would sit with my parents at the dinner table, they would talk, listen to music, as I would sit and listen. I remember this being a place where I slowly became aware of who my parents where as poeple, I started to notice how they talked, their movements and interaction with one another. In my mind it became a liminal scene, the table illuminated by the light. In darkness I couldnt see past the ring of light that illluminated the table, i imagined as we moved and talked the sound would ripple out into the world as memory.

The table became a control center of sound production.

After doing a perfomance with ‘The Table’ at RCS, alongside music students, I became aware of sound being used as a performative action: drawing attentiont to self and commanding power over space. To contextualise these ideas of perfomance/ and ‘set’ within the installation there are nods to theatre production:

  1.  A Theater spotlight: isolates ‘the table’ within the surrounding darkness .
  2. The elevation of the participants: climbing the stairs places them on a platform, giving them a stage to perfom.
  3. Under the stairs is visible to the viewer: they can see the bare bones of the structure, a nod to the fabrication of the installation. I believe there is importance in giving viewers,  those who seek it out, an insight into ‘how things work’ (placing all the sound tehcnology on display) in this case a peak into the small room under the stairs: usually the space of the house that is hidden away, unknown, but has the potential for kids imagination.


The Table Drum

The Table Drum, is the first in a series of sound devices. Relying on the touch of a participant to be activated, the table top is a thin metal sheet, when touched vibrations are sent to ripple around the surface: the Table Drum is connected to a contact mic and multichannel live electronics which capture these vibrations to play out through speakers. The work is a physical manifestation from a domestic scene, the dinning table being a place of gathering conversation and play.

The work has been used in collaboration with RCS (royal conservatoire of Scotland) students, placing it within a theatrical and musical context. The table drum was used as part of a performance “At the Table”, which took three performerce communication through action over the table, tapping, flicking, rubbing the surface whilst. these live sounbds where played out of 8 speakers around the dark space.