An aerial view of a coastline with land on the left, a beach running vertically in the middle, and the ocean dotted with white waves on the right. Overlaid in the centre is a complex web of brightly coloured pink, purple, and orange lines.

Sonus Maris

Exhibition: From 6 February to 5 May 2023, UNSW Main Library Level 5

Sonus Marisis an exhibition navigating the intersections between art and science emerging from an ongoing collaboration between artist Dr. Nigel Helyer and water engineers and scientists at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory (WRL). Working in close partnership with WRL postdoctoral researcher Dr. Tino Heimhuber, Helyer employs audio-visual media to reinterpret data charting the unique dynamics of intermittently closed and open lakes and lagoons (ICOLLs). ICOLLs are the most prominent type of estuaries found on the NSW coastline and are unique in that they alternate between open and closed oceanic entrance conditions, driven by the dynamic interplay between oceanic and land-based forces. Through data archaeology and a novel algorithm, Heimhuber extracts valuable information from a three-decade archive of public satellite imagery, drawing attention to long-term morphological and eco-hydrological variations in these crucial sites. Helyer interprets this detail-rich source material to compose a musical score translating the changeability of ICOLLs as a multisensory experience. Helyer's experimental music invites audiences to rethink knowledge systems by seeing, feeling, and hearing the flows and patterns of coastal environments.

Contact Us