Larch Bark & Lockdown

Within my PhD research at the Royal College of Art, I consider how listening to the sounds made by trees can reconnect humans to the forest, and how the combination of audio and visual can be used to enhance that connection. I use listening as a method for reengagement with the woodland environment and field recording to gather sounds of sylvan processes. I explore often inaudible and unnoticed sounds made by trees such as transpiration, decomposition and water saturation. 

Through sound visualisation I explore and analyse the field recordings in order to discover and reveal the hidden and unnoticed sonic depths of the sylvan forest. The resulting multi- sensory audio-visual artworks are used to direct attention and provide audiences with alternative avenues of engagement with, and perspective of trees, providing a catalyst for further dialogue regarding the importance of forests in the fragile time of the Anthropocene. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit London in March 2020, I became confined to my flat for the three-and-a-half-month lockdown. How could I attempt to reconnect to forests when I lived in central London with no access to the environments I was studying? This image essay tracks my attempt to maintain that connection and continue my practice-based research during this time of isolation and confinement. 

Liz K Miller is a London-based artist and printmaker. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art (BA), Camberwell College of Art (MA), and was a print fellow at the Royal Academy Schools (2013 to 2016). In 2018 she was awarded an AHRC TECHNE scholarship to undertake a practice-based PhD at the Royal College of Art in the School of Arts and Humanities.