Jessica Pinney


Jessica Pinney Biography · Writing · Composition · Installation · Workshop · Voice · Performance · Wildlife Recording · C.V. · Rabbit Island Residency Application Folio and Information

Practice statement

My artistic practice explores heightened experiences. In the past I have looked at those of teenagers and people with mental health issues. More recently I have been examining the heightened sensitivities of animals, the way they experience their world, and how humans can navigate a shared environment empathetically. I am interested in developing imagined narratives based around the experiences of animals in their natural environment and how humans can reconceptualise these experiences through dreams, imagination, and fantasy.

Using sound, installation, and collaborative workshops, my work always aims to release the psychological boundaries we put on ourselves and embrace a more open way of approaching and experiencing the world around us.

California (sound spell; we’re coming) (excerpt), 2012, Joshua Tree.

Recorded near and in Joshua Tree National Park, composed in Melbourne. Field recording and exploration of what a ‘sound spell’ composition could be.

Coniferous Woods for RPM (excerpt), 2012, Composition, Vancouver and San Diego.

This composition best reflects my desire to fuse natural sounds and imagined narratives for landscapes through field recording, written word, and voice work.

Eider (excerpt), 2012, Field recording, Northumberland.

Binaural recording of Eider ducks feeding and courting. Headphones recommended.

Mollusks, 2011, live recording, Melbourne.

A combination of my writing, experimental approach to instrumentation and voice work performed semi-improvisationaly. The piece has the same key ingredients, my voice, zither, vibrator, and poetry. By its nature it is different every time it is performed.

Hear Me Out, 2013, workshop and CD release, Melbourne.

This project was workshopped and supported by the Yarra Ranges Youth Services. Working with disadvantaged young people who experience issues with mental health, ‘Hear Me Out’ involved a series of workshops involving experimentation with field recording, writing, voice work and instrumentation. 

As head artist and composer, my role was to lead each workshop and compose a final work to be released on CD that described how each participant experiences and relates to their world.

An excerpt of the final composition, Hear Me Out; What We Did, can be heard here. 


Where We’re From, 2012, Flinders Walk, Northbank, Melbourne

This piece explores the heightened experience of the teenager, the notion of secret keeping and its connection to suppression and mental illness, and the potential for healing within singing or other voice work. 

After workshopping this subject matter with a group of teenagers, performances of the group singing their secrets to the tunes of pop songs were recorded and composed. The work was installed and played, blasting the incoherent sung secrets of teenagers into a busy public thoroughfare. Flowers and placards were set up along the walkway, to memorialise the release of each individual secret and celebrate a (however small) collective unburdening. 

This piece was reworked and exhibited as a headphone piece for ‘Melbourne Now’ at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2013. Listen to an excerpt of the final piece here.

Wet Weather, 2013.

your soft curls
a buzzards call
how i would fall into you
imagine then the weight
the sinew pressed 
hard into a frosted earth

where ant mounds
occlude the object of you
a flash of green
parrot, woodpecker, your eyes?

elongated tongues lap
the entrances of each mound
chilled leaves ghost your cheek

the rain begins in earnest now
a thumb dragging across my lip
how i would dream of your laughter
your endlessness belonging to no one
not even you

a starlings mimic demands
who even are you?