The Naughton Gallery at Queen's
Lanyon Building
Queen's University

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 3580

Opening Times
Tuesday - Sunday
11am - 4pm


Augustine Leudar
Garden of Membranes

British sound artist Leudar specialises in 3D sound design and audio holograms and has created sonic installations for major arts platforms across the world including the Rudolfinum, Prague, the Eden Project, Glastonbury's Shangri La, and Futuresonic in Manchester. His recent work has focused on multichannel sound installations in forests and botanic gardens across Europe and South America, featuring sonified electrical signalling in plants. He is currently completing his PhD at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in the School of Creative Arts at Queen’s.

Garden of Membranes is a multidisciplinary installation bridging plant electrophysiology and sonic art and is part sound art installation, part living sculpture and part scientific research project. It uses the symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi, known as mycorrhizal partnerships, to make tangible electrical activity in the roots and branches of a small bonsai forest. These signals, known as action potentials, trigger elements of the installation and reveal the mysterious and controversial field of plant biosignalling.

Part composition and part sonic map recorded on a recent trip to the Amazon rainforest, the sounds well up from the tiny speakers in the bonsai forest and emanate from larger speakers hidden in the gallery, forming a complex interplay between the microcosm and macrocosm.

The installation also references the outer panels of The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych by Hieronymous Bosch (c1500), now hanging in The Prado, Madrid. Rendered in a green–grey grisaille, the earth is shown encapsulated in a transparent sphere, suspended in the cosmos, which is shown as an impermeable darkness, whose only other inhabitant is God himself. Despite the presence of vegetation, the earth does not yet contain human life, contrasting sharply with the inner central panel which contains a paradise teeming with lustful humanity.

The prototype for the installation took place at the Clandestino festival of contemporary art in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 2014.

Exhibition continues until 18 October 2015