Portraying the sound of big Benn
Monday May 9th 2005
A series of large voice portraits on canvas - or sonograms - celebrate the life and work of former Labour MP Tony Benn have gone on display. Welsh artist Tracey Moberly has produced the work to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Since a child, Benn has preferred the oral tradition, learning from listening and watching rather than reading. Sonograms have been used for decades by scientists involved in audio analysis, such as voice recognition and bird song, but within this exhibition, Tracey uses the same technique to capture her favourite key moments from his words, and renders them as sonic visual artworks.
The former Cabinet minister sat alone late each night for more than 30 years and dictated onto tape his account of the daily events at the heart of government. Political artist Tracey has selected three quotes which she views as having multiple meanings and being of great relevance today. the title of the exhibition is Power and the canvases are titled Missiles, Miners and Monarchy, covering nuclear power, coal and oil.
* Power runs at Terry Duffy's Project Space, 340, Old Street London, until May 18. for further details visit the website at www.340oldstreet.co.uk
Photo: (c) Jess Hurd
Voice Portraits Tony Benn with artist Tracey Moberly