Susan Philipsz – The Waters Twine in Tasmania

Susan Philipsz
The Waters Twine, 2013
8 channel sound installation

In 2011 the Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park (GASP!) commissioned Scottish artist Susan Philipsz to create a work related to the 'GASP! Boardwalk' in Glenorchy, near Hobart. This artwork is the first in the GASP! permanent collection and will be launched during the MONA FOMA festival, on Wednesday January 16th at 11am.

Susan, an internationally acclaimed artist, is the winner of the prestigious 2010 Turner Prize (Tate Britain, London). Her work has been recently featured at the Edinburgh Festival and Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany.

For 'The Waters Twine' Susan has taken inspiration from James Joyce’s 1929 audio recording of the chapter Anna Livia Plurabelle from his novel ‘’Finnegans Wake’’. The source for Susan’s installation on the 'GASP! Boardwalk' is a 1935 score by composer Hazel Felman. On hearing the recording, Felman was so taken with Joyce’s recitation that she set it to music and based it on the pitch of his voice, the key of D. Susan Philipsz had a vibraphone player record the music but asked him to record each tone from the score separately so that the music is deconstructed and sounds fragmented. The individual notes play from the underside of the boardwalk and are projected out into the bay.

The 'GASP! Boardwalk', designed by Tasmanian architects, Room 11, spans a total of 600 meters in three sections over river. It is spectacular, running in a colour gradient from orange to blue and hundreds of coloured bars split the sunlight that falls across the water. Susan’s choice of vibraphone is inspired by the boardwalk architecture.

For this commission, Susan wanted to capture the ebb and flow in the sound work and have the recordings projected out on top of moving water. In the final lines of the book there is a majestic ending when Joyce describes the freshwater of the river rushing to the point where it meets the salt water of the sea. Philipsz said in an interview in 2012 “ I like that the boardwalk is in a tidal zone and that the small rivulets that run out under the boardwalk are merged and submerged with the harbour at different times of the day.”

'The Waters Twine' will be shown from January 16 to 20 from 10am to 7pm daily and following that at advertised days and times available on
The project has been made possible by the generosity of private donors and businesses.
'GASP! Boardwalk': Brooker Highway, Elwick Bay, Glenorchy
Susan Philipsz is available for interviews from Tuesday 15th until Sunday 20th January.

Pippa Dickson, CEo
Glenorchy art & Sculpture Park
0407 314 711 or (03) 6216 6373