Two seemingly unrelated moments in time became the genesis for an ongoing investigation into a visual interpretation of sound. For the last two summers I’ve had the privilege of helping develop an art program for the CNIB camp on Lake Joseph. While the visually impaired guests were creating extraordinary works of art, I understood that they used sounds as their way to see. Three years ago my son graduated from the Vancouver Film School and started a career as a sound designer. After many hours of calls talking about his craft, there was the realization that we had been using visual metaphors to describe sounds.
Within my studio, sound started to take on a tangible persona, sound had texture, had colour, and had a living universe. An unyielding landscape that changes constantly, violently and yet remained as an inﬁnite environment.
Mike Smalley was born in Warwickshire, England in 1945, close to The Shire’ in Hobbit Country. A professional Art director for an advertising industry, Mike has launched Fuel Advertising in 1993, the company which became the one of first totally integrated software driven agencies in North America.
Mike’s art and creativity has developed over 40 years. And in 2003 York University introduced the artist to his next career. Surrounded by learning and the learned and led by the spirits of the future, Mike discovered the love of painting. The blinding flash of perspective and purpose came when he collided with Clement Greenberg’s essay, ‘Modernist Painting’. Words so blunt, so obvious, yet so far reaching, it has led the artist on a journey that has only just begun.