Sound Line for Compos Mentis

Something is considered ‘sound’ if it is working well, healthy and has an intrinsic validity and purpose.  

We’re looking forward to seeing this exciting installation wandering its way through the water ways here at Eden Gardens.

Leanne Thompson’s work plays with layers of meanings present in the word sound: from water that joins land forms to waves of vibration we can hear. However, the key concept ties an awareness of the intricate connections linking water cycle to functional ecosystem processes.

The work also aims to heighten perception of this network and cyclic movement extending beyond the site, from the designed recycling features and its flora and fauna to include us. It is an invitation to experience that we belong within the system and are not separate and dislocated. This layering is reflected in the installation. The artwork will respond directly to the site and the water treatment system by placing various ‘listening posts’ along the entire circuit of the waterway.

Each space is opportunity to focus attention on a point as well as the line or put another way, the pause within the flow. Both the ‘line’ and spots along it will be constructed from bamboo. The track of the water (above and below ground) will be marked with individual freestanding stakes, spaced metres apart to visually indicating the passage between each station. The ‘listening posts’ will vary in design at each location, but relate to each other through construction material and techniques.

The aim is to create a layer of more ambiguous connections relating to ecosystem function that are invisible but constant and continuous. The installation transits through to the reservoir. Here it mimics the actual water system, acting as a repository for the temporal aspect of the work to accumulate.

A collection of audio files (incorporating all aspects of sound collected from the site and customer audiences and senior school children from the local area) will multiply over the exhibition creating an intricate and rich soundscape.

Sound Line for Compos Mentis‘ is a reflection on the complexity, inter connectivity and function that is intrinsic to ecology. The artwork invites us to reconsider our relationship with ecosystems that binds land and water together and maintains health in the water cycle for this precious element. Embracing the folds of land and drawn through the filter of plants, water is held to gently seep, nourish and cleanse. Transit through the work is a sensory experience of both a place and process where life originates and flourishes.

Leanne Thompson’s practice aims to show that art has a role to play as witness to an ecological present and catalyst for change. For her the physical experience of making and ‘marking’ is a way of thinking and informs her tacit knowing and understanding of the world. Through expressive means observation and data become harnessed to process but also imprint an abstract structure that underpins all her work. Weaving together sometimes disparate ideas, objects, materials and physical processes is both experimental exploration and personal expression but one that ultimately functions to bring forth cognition and a logical practice that is not just intuitive. Inviting participation in the work or collaborating with a wider public investigates how concepts are communicated and interpreted.

Since the 90’s Leanne has promoted creativity through community art projects and collaboration. She has worked in many facets of the art & design industry and maintained a vibrant studio practice, showing in more than 70 exhibitions. These have included public and commercial galleries, community spaces and selected art prize and survey shows. Recently she has moved towards a practice aimed at enhancing collaboration, social processes and community engagement often outside of conventional art spaces. Recent projects have been heavily influenced by a concern for the environment and the nexus between communicating scientific data and the visual arts. She is keen to highlight and question societal inertia hindering action on climate change issues.

Leanne has ongoing collaborations with various projects including ‘Living Data’, (in conjunction with Climate Change Cluster at UTS, Sydney) and ‘Biodiversity Dreaming’ (with Greening Bathurst, Charles Sturt University and local Wiradyuri, scientists, farmers and environmentalists). This regional involvement is currently being extended with the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation and the Futurelands 2 project. Leanne is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at UNSW working in the field of sculpture and public art. The practice is expanding to include participatory and socially engaged processes and the skills required to gather/translating data through use of remote sensors, video, sound, environmental monitoring and incorporates sustainable technologies such as solar. Her practice-based research e aims to explore and render intelligible the interactive and embedded relationship between humanity and ecology. In conjunction with an independent studio practice and current university research, Leanne is a director and designer of a company specialising in bespoke metalwork and sub-sea engineering.


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