The Unnameable Sound of a Bell
Anne Mestitz
Langford120: Ellipsis Gallery
July 1 – July 30 2017
 
The Unnameable Sound of a Bell was the working title for this body of work.  Working titles, for me, articulate the possibilities within the frame of what I am exploring – most often an ineffable abstract notion and an attempt to make it concrete and knowable within the form of an artwork.  I was attracted to imaging the deep reverberating sound of very large bronze bells such as the Japanese Bonsho or the sombre toll of a Cathedral bell.  The fact that I could not describe this sound with a name fascinated me and during the process of making the artworks this is what I pondered.   Sound and colour are synaesthetically connected in their vibratory qualities being made up of waves on the electromagnetic spectrum and it is this crossing over of the senses, which often informs my work.
The first works were the three wall works – Of a bell tolling 1, Of a bell tolling 2 and Of a bell tolling 3 – made up of three panels each having the intention of luring the viewer into a temporal experience of the work which changes from varying passing perspectives.  
The second work I completed – The Secret Amplitude – is named after a poem by John Koethe and is a tall column that I perceived or imagined as a kind of soundingboard-like container with some quivering remains of sounds collected within the form.  This work is also participatory in that it reveals something continually visually unfolding as the viewer circulates around the form.  
The third work – Of droning – I was attempting to capture a more circulatory droning sound held within a singular square form.  I think at this stage I was thinking of making a static, in both senses of the word, base like a grounding panel. 
The fourth and final piece made is titled Diminuendo, the musical term for diminishing, and was inspired by the virgules (slashes) within poetry and music serving as markers of time diminishing in size and colour contrast like a fade-out.
During the process of making these works, the name of the sound of a bell came to me to be knowing, fittingly between silent letters like parenthetic reverberations.