A Sound Art Snapshot – Life, Love, Hope, Fear & Protest In The Time Of Pandemic Lockdown

New works exploring lockdown sound art and paintings by The Venus Bushfires is featured in upcoming virtual exhibition Her Dark Materials. 

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Sounds of Us is a call and response of sound art and paintings by Helen Epega (The Venus Bushfires) depicting a moment in time during the global pandemic lockdown when it felt like the world stopped. It is Helen’s first multidisciplinary works since composing the groundbreaking ‘Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera’, the world’s first pidgin English Opera which has been performed to vast audiences in London, Lagos and Cape Town. 

Helen’s new works are celebrated in the upcoming group exhibition Her Dark Materials by Eye of the Huntress www.eyeofthehuntress.com (founded by Alexandra Ray and Catherine Loewe), curated by Philippa Adams www.wwam.co (founder of WWAM Wolverton Works Virtual Art Museum and former Director and Head Curator of Saatchi Gallery’s collection 1999-2020) and state-of-the-art CGI experience from tech visionaries INVI. The exhibition highlights the work of renowned women artists exploring sound, music, painting, performance and sculpture from different parts of the world. 

Her synthesising project is 15 months in the making and spans across 2 continents in the mega cities of London and Lagos. The sound art piece is a powerful cacophony of everyday and sacred sounds of people laughing, crying, struggling for breath, praying, in ecstasy, birdsong, nature, talking, eating, trains, ambient street noise, children playing, grinding coffee machines and running streams. The paintings are Helen’s physical and visual response to the sound art’s stimuli exploring people’s hopes, fears, protest and the meeting, clashing and blending of cultures at a time of social duality of rigidity and flux.  

“It felt like the world stopped and I didn’t have all the words to say what I needed to say, in this moment I was drawn to creating a sacred space where people in the cities I call home could share sounds of their hopes and fears during lockdown and feel heard, then I painted and painted.  

Sounds of Us is part of a developing music, art and technology project spearheaded by Helen that brings people and communities around the world together through our connection with recognisable everyday and sacred sounds. 

Over the last 6 years Helen’s works have regularly received international press coverage in The Guardian, BBC,  CNN, Reuters, France 24 The Guardian Nigeria – she also featured in a Channel 4 Documentary.

Visit the virtual exhibition 22nd June – 22nd September 2021: 


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