Sarah Tracton

Sound is Illuminated

4 May > 28 May 2023

Linden New Art is proud to present Sound is Illuminated, the latest body of handcrafted porcelain lightworks by local artist and designer Sarah Tracton.

Floating weightlessly throughout the space, the gentle glow of Tracton’s pendant lights distil the velvety warmth of dusk, disrupting the cool container of the gallery’s white cube. Closer inspection reveals gilded fissures that shatter the porcelain into mosaics of organic shapes, its form the beautiful result of an artful Japanese technique employed by Tracton known as kintsugi, in which ceramic shards broken during the firing process are repaired with gold-leaf sheets. The pendants are powered and suspended by minimalistic frame structures of near-invisible slimline wires, thus eliminating visible cables and creating a mysterious buoyancy.  

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Please note > we apologise for any inconvenience, the Linden Projects Space is not wheelchair accessible.

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IMAGES > [top & above] Sarah Tracton, Sound is Illuminated. Photograph: Oscar Colman. Image courtesy of the artist.

IMAGE > Sarah Tracton, Sound is Illuminated. Photograph: Oscar Colman. Image courtesy of the artist.

For Tracton, this act of transformative repair exemplifies the philosophy of the circular economy, rescuing otherwise discarded materials with an approach that not only restores the functionality of the object but celebrates the scars of its history. Each pendant therefore becomes perfectly unique in its idiosyncrasies, objects that wear its beautiful wounds and in doing so, acquiring the independence to tell the story of its own being.

Environmentally sustainable methods precede Tracton’s practice at every turn. Accordingly, Sound is Illuminated reflects the work of an artist determined to transcend the monotony of the mass manufacturing and the culture of waste and consumption that fuels it. But more than a challenge to excesses the fast-furniture industry, Tracton’s embrace of the virtues of transformative repair is made all the more meaningful by her own transformative experience of profound deafness, whose hearing was made possible through cochlear implantation. Describing her sensory deprivation as the catalyst behind her creations, Tracton says:

Creating lighting is a response to rehabilitating my hearing with cochlear implantation. This journey into increased sound has brought enhanced colour perception. Once I regained my hearing, the atmosphere, colours and tactility of materials became intensified. Light has a powerful effect on those who experience hearing loss. Sound became an illuminating light in a literal sense for me, and the translucency of porcelain conveys this positive catharsis. Working with iridescent, vibrant pops of colour and the light of porcelain encapsulates this feeling.”

Sarah Tracton, 2023

IMAGE > Sarah Tracton, Sound is Illuminated. Photograph: Oscar Colman. Image courtesy of the artist.

Drawn to exploring the infinite possibilities of porcelain translucency, fine artist and designer Sarah Tracton handcrafts lighting that is luminous, experimental and ethereal. To achieve her lighting’s remarkable diaphanous effect, Sarah honed her artistry at the National Art School in Sydney, developing a unique technique to handcraft architectural clay sheets by pouring porcelain slip on a plaster slab before firing, then heightening the luminous properties of her lighting by adding iridescent colours to the porcelain which results in exquisitely luminous and ethereal translucency when internally lit.

Tracton is a current finalist for Australia’s Next Top Designer, which showcases breakthrough concepts shaping the future of design. She has exhibited at Design Fringe, Australian Design Centre and held solo exhibitions at Abbotsford Convent (2018), Glowing Structures (2022) and Linden Project Space (2023). She is a Good Design Award winner, Circle Awards finalist, AMP Tomorrow Maker, Churchill Fellow, Macquarie Group Emerging Prize People's Choice winner, and recipient of Creative Victoria’s Creators Fund and the Rupert Bunny Fellowship Special Projects Grant. She was a finalist for the Circle Awards in 2022, which recognises design creating positive environmental change. Her works are held in private collections across Australia and New York. 

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IMAGE > Portrait of Sarah Tracton in her studio, 2022. Image Courtesy of the artist.

This project is supported by the Rupert Bunny Foundation Special Projects Grant fund. 

Sound is Illuminated
is proud to be part of Melbourne Design Week 2023, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV. 

Linden Projects Space is generously supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, City of Port Phillip and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.