Scott Sherk – Alentejo
“The Alentejo of Portugal is a sparsely populated area of gentle savannah with cork oak and ancient olive trees. It has been inhabited since Metholithic times, and is rich in prehistoric stone sites. Sitting quietly beneath an oak tree one imagines that not much has changed over time.
We were lucky to be residents of The Obras Foundation. It is a special place beautifully situated on a hillside overlooking pastures, tangled gorges, orchards, and a distant castle. There is little sound—except the wind. It is a place to clear your head and regain the ability to listen to the world around, as well as the landscape within.
I walked through the dry, dusty fields, mesmerized by their stillness, except for the wind. When the wind came, it swept across the fields in waves that the dry grass made visible. I was excited by the tangible experience of the space around me. I could see it, feel it and hear it.
As I was making recordings, Pat Badt was painting notes of color. Taken by the intensity of the light and the endless sky, she painted many, many paper sketches of color and form…
We also visited the castle that we could see in the far distance. It was the Castle of Evoramonte. Made of thick stone walls with high vaulted ceilings it is a remarkable place. The windows look out onto the surrounding panorama sky and land. The interior volumes are filled with sound. It seemed a perfect place to plan an installation.
When we returned to our home studios in the US, we compared notes and developed an idea to collaborate on an installation of sound and color. We returned to the Obras Foundation this past summer and installed our piece Cor + Som (Color + Sound) in the Castle of Evoramonte. Using colored gels and 5.1 surround sound we filled the cavernous stone spaces with sound and color. These works are a result of this project.” – Scott Sherk