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Sound Design

Susan Atwill

Susan Atwill is a research-based artist and sound hunter from Sunderland. Using North East England as an influence, her work navigates the relationships between heritage and inheritance through sound, photography, film and sculpture.

The WESLDET Award for Final Project

Shortlisted New Contemporaries '21

Radio Space Borealis Festival March '21

Iklectik Leave No Trace 30th June/1st July '21

Menier Chocolate Factory IED show BEEP BEEP July '21

IED Hotline Extension no.243

To leave a comment about my work, please dial the free IED hotline number 020 3983 1592 or overseas +4420 3983 1592. International calls cost subject to your operator's fees.

Degree Details

School of Communication

Sound Design
Susan Atwill

Drawn to the edges of rivers, excavating mud and other elemental materials, Atwill classes herself as a part-function/part-fiction artist. Inspired by her grandparents’ homes, she researches an alternative reality where fossilised sound exists, objects speak and materials sing; she merges tangible precious debris* with poetic imagination.

The Museum of (W)Earkind is a confluence of ideas, based on the last year of research, and includes Ear Plan: from an imaginary perspective (sound/film) and Wear Rhymes with Ear: recent research on the Three Sonic Objects (dissertation).

The Museum of (W)Earkind
The Second Floor
The Second Floor

The Museum of (W)Earkind is part-installation/part-film/part-sound combining research of North-East England with storytelling.


Lucy Papadopoulos, Nic Faris and Jamie Maule - sound collaboration, Jobie Wong- digital animation collaboration. 


Underground Mining
Underground Mining
Drawing in Space
Drawing in Space
Anthracite from Dawdon Colliery
Anthracite from Dawdon Colliery — Mined by granda Atwill.
Words of my Ancestors
Words of my Ancestors — Pitmatic dialect


Objects, sound, drawing, film
Fig.36 Victorian Reconstruction
Fig.36 Victorian Reconstruction — Previous understanding from the 19th Century. An example of sound erroneously placed on two mining props.
Fig.26 Pre-Automation Mining for Echo
Fig.26 Pre-Automation Mining for Echo — Pre-echo recording via drawing.
Fig.17 Sonic Object C
Fig.17 Sonic Object C — Recorded fossilised sound from the archaeology paper 'Wear Rhymes With Ear'.
Fig. 34 Orientation via Phenomnesis
Fig. 34 Orientation via Phenomnesis — Diagram of sound strata from 'Wear Rhymes with Ear'.
Fig. 8 Sandstone Layers
Fig. 8 Sandstone Layers — Barnard Castle featuring specific sandstone layering of the region.
Fig. 14 Site Map
Fig. 14 Site Map — Showing the area of discovery of the Three Sonic Objects.

Archaeological findings from the River Wear model the understanding of the impact of the local mining industry on spoken words. The sonic findings are a result and agent of social landscape and are documented in the research paper.


Zoom — The Projects discuss being made for the exhibition. Discuss is a generous word. They make noises with their mouths. The only listener is the Sensible Lemon who is optimistic yet ineffective. The meeting descends into the absurd. With no real conclusion, drive or aim.


Mixed media, film
Dial 020 3983 1592
Dial 020 3983 1592 — You can reach me at ext.243, leave a message!