Artwork takes viewers on a sonic adventure

Music and design faculty from Griffith’s South Bank campus have created a stunning sonic sculpture as part of the inaugural Curiocity festival.

Curiocity Brisbane is a series of science, art and technology experiences spanning the Brisbane River.

For the next month, dozens of free, interactive public artworks will be on display along the riverfront, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

‘Scatter’ is the brainchild of Queensland Conservatorium Head of Music Technology Dr John Ferguson and composer Dr Erik Griswold, who teamed up with colleagues at the Queensland College of Art; digital media lecturer Daniel Della-Bosca and design doctoral candidate Paul Bardini.

The solar-powered sonic composition features spinning loudspeakers that hang from four-metre-high rotors. The installation ‘scatters’ sound in all directions, giving visitors the chance to embark on an interactive sonic adventure.

Dr Ferguson said a smaller version of the work featured at the Tyalgum Music Festival last year, but with the help of colleagues from the Queensland College of Art, he was able to super-size the installation.

“It is very much a collaboration and a team effort,” he said.

“It’s been fantastic working on something together that encompasses design, art, sculpture and music.”

Dr Ferguson said viewers of all ages were enjoying the work, which is on show at the South Bank Parklands until the 3 April.

“At Griffith, we are incredibly lucky to have a campus in the heart of South Bank, which is Brisbane’s cultural hub and an amazing outdoor space,” he said.

“The Curiocity program has put public art everywhere, and it’s a great metaphor – all of these works encourage people to be curious and playful.

“Scatter encourages people to reconsider their perception of sound.”

Queensland College of Art Bachelor of Design (Honours) graduate and doctoral candidate Paul Bardini fabricated the parts for ‘Scatter’.

Growing up on a farm outside Stanthorpe, he always had a passion for making weird and wonderful objects. After 20 years as a touring sound engineer, he decided to pursue that passion at the QCA.

“I got tired of living out of a suitcase, and I decided to go to uni and turn my hobby into a new career,” he said.

Paul’s doctorate examines how makers share their work online.

“I’ve been documenting each part of this project on Instagram, and it’s generated a lot of interest,” he said.

Scatter is on display at South Bank Parklands as part of the inaugural Curiocity festival until 3 April, before travelling to The Piano Mill near Stanthorpe over Easter.