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Working with Sarah in the Project Art Works studio is a unique experience. She combines her interest in mark making with her desire to be immersed in sound, noise and a certain amount of controlled happy chaos. Sarah moves through the studio with great purpose. Her visual work takes time to come together and in some cases takes second place to her desire to explore every surface, every edge and every corner.

With this is mind it felt like a challenge at first to keep the connection going throughout these difficult times. But with the support of her wonderful foster parents we are now settling into a weekly Zoom that focusses on Sarah’s music and sound interests.

Our Zoom sessions together feature familiar songs (and some not so familiar). I’ve been responding subtly to Sarah’s staccato sounds made with bamboo beaters (sometimes on a xylophone), with my own electronic and analog instrumentation. I have started using a second camera to enable Sarah to see more of the instruments being used and to be playful with the eccentricities of video conferencing.

I was inspired by Sarah’s travel experience in Africa and just recently, I made a homemade drum with a leather shammy skin, with help from Artist Peter Quinnell’s excellent guide. This was then turned into an electronic drum machine that was used to improvise with during sessions and formed the basis of song that I put together for Sarah and sent in the post on CD. During the sessions, when Sarah fancied it, she played along with the drum.

In addition to this Artist Georgie Scott has safely delivered a beautiful bamboo washboard, canvas, other art materials and has collaborated during zoom sessions.

I consider this experience as enriching. I have learnt much more about Sarah in a short space of time with her Foster parents. Therefore in some sense, things feel more ‘real’ than ever as oppose to ‘virtual‘ or ‘remote’. One day I hope to take what I have learnt back into the physical studio space by introducing more sound and music with Sarah’s visual art practice.


Written by: Parachute Club Artist. Andrew Cooper.