Waves Breaking on a Lee Shore at Margate (2014)

Turner Contemporary, Margate

Claire Orme investigates the histories and secrets etched within and upon spaces and objects, attempting to unlock the landscape of mysteries hidden by the conventional methods of experiencing the world. Her predominant interest currently lies in the attempt to ‘play’ objects and locations in order to uncover their concealed stories – creating a sonic séance.


These ongoing experiments explore a wider scientific concept – The Stone Tape Theory – which was speculated upon as early as the 19th century, and is a possible explanation for ghosts. The theory states that inanimate materials can absorb psychic energies at moments of high tension, and that these ‘recordings’ can consequently be released, resulting in paranormal goings-on.


In Waves Breaking on a Lee Shore at Margate, Orme’s alter-ego Claire Voyant, a paranormal investigator, went through a meticulous process to transform Turner’s work into music – was there anything hiding within the painting about Margate or the artist himself? A piano roll was then cut, the pitch and duration following the strokes of Turner’s brush. You are invited to listen to a recording of this being played on a pianola, whilst looking at a reproduction of the painting and through the piano roll to the view that inspired Turner.