Johnson, Christy (1995) Signature. [Art/Design Item]

View this record at


Discovery Centre, Thatcham Reedbed Nature Reserve, UK Commissioned by Artpoint Trust & Reading Borough Council Installation, 1995 Sited at Thatcham Reedbed Nature Reserve, SIGNATURE explored forms of classification and was particularly interested the relationship between grouping by resemblance, and individual identification (the generic and the specific). Johnson worked directly with the Natural History archivist via the Hampshire Museum Service, using waterfowl material in their collection (moorhen, shoveler, coot, canada goose, mute swan, grey heron). Utilising what Fox-Talbot described in the 19th century as ‘the pencil of nature’, the photogram was chosen to articulate shape, rejecting the camera’s monocular vantage point. Exchanges between image and sound were created via a dialogue between the interior and exterior space. As the Centre looks directly out onto the lake, microphones were placed in and around the water bringing ‘live’ birdcall into the room - sometimes as a single sound, and at others a cacophony of noise (‘kurruck’, ‘tolk-tolk’, ‘squak’, ‘cluck’, ‘ruff’, ‘frank’). Scale played an integral part in the work both visually and sonically. Thatcham Reedbed Nature Reserve has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in the UK.

Item Type: Art/Design Item
Members: University for the Creative Arts
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2011 09:14
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 12:54

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item