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Voicing Silence 

by Laurence Payot 

With collaborators, Jon Hughes (composer), Laura Spark (animator), Scott Farlow (poet), Stacey Atkinson (choreographer), Mark Hilditch (lighting designer)

Commissioned by Thinking Through Extinction  project, University of Leeds, 2020

Holographic projection in wooden Victorian-style museum display with audio


© Laurence Payot. Courtesy of the Artist.

What does extinction mean to you?  What has happened to the biodiversity in the world?  How can we have empathy with the world around us and with our non-human kin?

This haunting holographic work expresses the complex emotions - confusion, anger, sadness or guilt - that we can feel when faced with the reality of how humans are transforming the planet. It sits inside a display case, just as we might expect to find an extinct animal or plant in the museum.

© Laurence Payot. Courtesy of the Artist.

Artist Laurence Payot worked with a group of artists to use dance, poetry, music and animation to help over 150 people to express their feelings and emotions. This was part of the research project Thinking Through Extinction  which explored how people think and feel about the dramatic decline of biodiversity across our planet. 

Explore the creative process for the Voicing Silence residency at Manchester Museum

The wider research project Thinking Through Extinction investigates how the current global mass extinction event is explored in museums and galleries. The collaborative publication led by Corridor8,  facing Extinction publication is the result of another artistic residency, drawing on the Voicing Silence art work and online workshops.  Read the online publication here.

facing Extinction — Corridor8


Finding Hope

Both Wild Chorus and Voicing Silence ask us to pause and think about our relationships with the natural world: the times when we find joy and beauty in the life around us, or the times when we feel sad and angry at the threats to wildlife. Both pieces suggest that the way forward is together, and that collectively we can work to make a difference.

#MMWeAreNature #WildChorus #VoicingSilence

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