Hannah Rickards

Hannah Rickards
Hanna Rickards, Thunder, 2005, collection Frac Franche-Comté, © Hanna Rickards

Thunder, 2005

Installation: sound file, 1 typographed text on paper. Print run: Edition 1/3 + 2AP

Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté

Hannah Rickard is interested in perception and description, in the way an encounter with a sound, an image or a landscape is expressed. She translates natural phenomena such as birdsong, aurora borealis and mirages into a formal language.

For Thunder, the artist recorded a thunderclap and extended this sound from eight seconds to seven minutes to allow composer David Murphy to create a score for six instruments. The recording of the piece was then reduced to eight seconds, the original duration of the thunderclap. The installation consists of the recording resonating in the exhibition space, accompanied by a short typed text explaining the process.


Dominic O'Dell (viola), Claire Roff (violin), Robb Tooley (trombone), Matt Wells (trumpet), Petro von Wielligh (flute) and Rickardo Zweitisch (cello)

Electric Mayhem at Confetti Studios, Nottingham

Courtesy Frac Franche-Comté and the artist

Hannah Rickards

Born in 1979 London (UK)
Lives and works in Vernon (CA)

Hannah Rickards studied at Central Saint Martins, London. She is interested in the translation or human interpretation of natural phenomena, fleeting, immaterial preferences such as atmospheric phenomena.

In one of her first pieces, Birdsong (2002), she recorded six bird songs, slowed them down and adapted them to her own vocal range. She then sang and recorded these ready-made melodies before reassembling them at their original speed. The resulting tunes are accompanied in the exhibition space by a typed text describing the production process, between replication and reinvention. Thunder (2005) uses the same mechanism, but a sextet reproduces the thunder.

The artist is interested not only in dissecting sounds in order to reproduce them, but also in the way we translate sonic or visual impressions. ...A legend, it, it sounds like a legend... (2007) gathers testimonies from people who have perceived the sound accompanying the northern lights, while No, there was no red (2009) confronts descriptions of a mirage in which an urban landscape appears on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Grey light. Left and right back, high up, two small windows (2014) is a piece created on Fogo Island (Newfoundland) using foghorn recordings, that sonic marker that speaks the invisible. The video installation is nourished by choreographic work and musical composition.

Hannak Rickards also renders the mysteries of the invisible in One can make out the surface only by placing any dark-coloured object on the ground (2019). The title describes the difficulty of navigating in whiteout conditions, in a snowy landscape with no horizon line. A video shows two performers interacting with scattered vintage photographic materials depicting celestial phenomena and geological surfaces. The projection is accompanied by a silkscreen that maps camera movements during the shoot.

exposure time

Other artists

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