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‘Painting with Sound – Short Walks along the West Coast of Scotland’

Saturday 14 October – 21 January 2024

An innovative, immersive exhibition of ‘audio paintings’ capturing the sights and sounds of Scotland’s wild landscape opens at the Scottish Maritime Museum on Saturday 14 October.

A collaboration between artist Keith Salmon and sound engineers Graham Byron and Drew Kirkland, ‘Painting with Sound – Short walks along the west coast of Scotland’ promises visitors a unique opportunity to ‘step into’ landscapes as far apart as Sandwood Bay in the far North West of Scotland and the salt marshes at the Crook of Baldoon on the Solway Firth.

The exhibition, which will go on show in the Museum’s vast, Victorian Linthouse building on Irvine Harbourside, features 23 new landscape paintings by Keith, 17 of which will be accompanied by video soundscapes produced by Graham and Drew.

The video soundscapes, which the collaborators hope will widen the accessibility of the art experience, draw on recordings made by Keith whilst walking across some of Scotland’s most remote landscapes. They also feature tonal pieces composed by Graham.

Visitors can take in the paintings and hear the soundscapes by scanning a QR code with a phone and listening through their earbuds.

As well as the individual audio paintings, visitors can enjoy an exhibition video featuring excerpts from all 17 audio paintings and photographs charting the development of the greater ‘Painting with Sound’ collaborative project since 2016. The exhibition video will play across the gallery space at regular intervals throughout the day.

Artist Keith Salmon explains the inspiration behind ‘Painting with Sound’:

We’re delighted to open ‘Painting with Sound’ at the Scottish Maritime Museum.

“I am passionate about capturing and sharing our stunning Scottish landscape and this is the latest iteration in my long-term ‘painting with sound’ collaboration with Graham and Drew.

Keith in the mountains of Sutherland
Keith in the mountains of Sutherland

“We have worked hard to capture the essence of being out the wilds of Scotland in sight and sound. We want visitors to feel as if they’re experiencing a little moment standing still out in the landscape, taking in the scene in all its glory.

“In particular, we wanted the sound ‘unlocking’ each painting to be as authentic as possible and that meant reproducing what are in effect the quiet sounds of the landscape.

“Over the eight years since I first contacted Graham, he and Drew have had a real impact on how the audio element to my work has developed.

“Graham in particular, has had considerable creative input with the video soundscapes in this exhibition and we’re all excited to present our latest collaborative work to the public.”

Eva Bukowska, Exhibitions and Events Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, adds:

We’re thrilled to host this innovative and collaborative audio visual exhibition by Keith Salmon, Graham Byron and Drew Kirkland.

“‘Painting with Sound’ will give our visitors a rare opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of our fabulous landscape. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the exhibition when it opens next month.”

Keith, who is based in the WASPS Courtyard Studios on Irvine Harbourside, was introduced to hillwalking by his father when he was ten. He has spent the last 50 years exploring the varied landscapes of Britain, focusing on wild and sometimes remote parts of Scotland since moving to Irvine in 1998.

‘Painting with Sound – Short Walks along the West Coast of Scotland’ is on show at the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, from Saturday 14 October to 21 January 2024.

The exhibition is open 10am – 5pm daily and entry is included in Museum Admission.

Issued on behalf of the Scottish Maritime Museum by
Joanna Harrison, Mobile: 07884 187404

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