Dr Nigel Helyer (UK/Australia) a.k.a. Dr Sonique is an independent Sydney-based sculptor and sound-artist who creates large-scale sound-sculpture installations, public art and environmental works as well as interactive new media projects. His practice is actively inter-disciplinary linking creative practice with scientific research and development.

Dr Helyer’s project Run Silent, Run Deep is an investigative research into the sonic properties of underwater acoustics off Singapore’s harbours. A library of underwater recordings would be amassed from field trips around Singapore, and reference in creating an “audio portrait” of oceanic activity around our shores, cumulating in an interactive installation as part of the Artist in Residence programme at ISEA2008. (For more information, please go to http://www.isea2008singapore.org/exhibitions/air_run.html)

This reporter was privileged to be able to accompany Dr Nigel Helyer and research engineer Yeo Kian Peen, from the Marine Mammal Research Laboratory, on a sortie to St John’s Island Thursday 29th May 2008.

Dr Nigel Helyer in the boat

Off the boat with the “Mata Ikan” (Fishing Police) in view

The beautiful views from the harbour at St John’s Island

At the first location, a dam that had whirlpools of water swirling by.

The sea that we were listening to..

as Kian Peen held on to the dancing hydrophones

The next stop was a cement cliff where some snapping shrimp were heard

We also visited the coral plants at the Marine Laboratory on the Island, where Dr Nigel has been allocated a small studio

Attempting to listen to passing engines at the island’s boat pickup point.

This reporter got a shot with Dr Nigel on the buggy, as did Kian Peen, and the trusty hydrophones

Parting shots of the island.

It was a very eventful trip, not only in the collection of acoustic sounds, but also in the embracing of nature in one of Singapore’s dwindling sites of remote beauty. For a sample of Nigel’s Snappin’ Shrimp please visit blog site https://isea2008.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/audio-sample-of-dr-nigel-helyers-snappin-shrimp/.

Keep checking this space for more information on Dr Nigel Helyer and his project developments in the ISEA2008 main-juried exhibition!

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