About Tansy Spinks

During this Fine Art degree, I have been inspired by the artworks of many artists, I was fortunate to listen to some of them discuss their practice at the Wednesday afternoon lecture series.

One artist, in particular, Tansy Spinks studied Fine Art in Leeds, has an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art and is a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music, London. Tansy is also a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Middlesex University where I sat under her 90-minute lecture about her practice.

At her lecture, the minutes flew by! I found her practice of using sound to create art the most fascinating and soul releasing concept! I know Tansy Spinks isn’t the only artist who creates with this media, but it was the first time I had personally been exposed to it.

Sound Walks! Tansy explains how she arranges walks that allow people a moment of time to just ‘listen’ enjoy, record what they can hear. As Tansy is explaining this to the almost full lecture theatre, there was a whistling sound of wind creeping through the vents behind her to her right. It was eerily awesome to me, almost ‘staged’ but I know it was pure, it just immediately got me caught up in enjoying ‘sound’… any sound.

Tansy Spinks talked about her experience in Marrakesh and how the ‘Sound Walks’ were held there, how she overcame issues about her being a woman and restrictions that this brought to her and her practice.

One of the simplest ideas that influenced me the most was that she would place small objects she planned to eat on a piece of paper and draw around it. She has a collection of such recorded memories as part of her project. This was perfection to me, to be able to take the almost childlike action of drawing around an object, this made my heart free! and thankful the purity is still there. I believe as artists we are losing this sense of play, art is play! art is release and freedom but we are trying too hard to make an impression, to be seen and heard and talked about, we are losing the true benefits that art making brings.

Days after the lecture I found my self thinking “please help me to have the purity of Tansy Spinks!” it sounds ridiculous and laughable, but I meant it.

The finale came at her lecture as she took up her violin and started to play, she walked up the lecture theatre aisle and down again still playing! I was raptured and captured by it all.

I walked home from the lecture that day, paying homage to sounds, sounds I have taken for granted every day for over 50 years. Later that evening I listened to my dog breathing as she slept peacefully, thankful she’s still with me, she’s getting on and seems to be having a lot of health problems.  Now I listen more ardently to things, to life and feel more alive myself, and more connected to it all.



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