thembi soddell

Held Down, Expanding Doorway
Image description: A photo of an open doorway framed by black. Inside, in the centre, is a reclined chair and 7 small speakers above, around and beside it pointing toward the chair, all lit by dim red light
Concrete poetry from Love Songs
Image description:A black square with layers of text of different contrast and spacing that reads “Nothing is happening” over and over across the bottom half in the form of concrete poetry

Dr Thembi Soddell (b.1980) is a sound artist, electroacoustic composer and practice-based researcher, whose work is focused on representing and understanding the felt mental impact of trauma, emotional distress and so-called mental illness through the intensity of abstract, acousmatic sound. Their most recent album Love Songs is streaming at Self-Titled Magazine and an audio paper discussing the concepts behind its making is on Liquid Architecture’s online journal Disclaimer. They completed their PhD at RMIT University in 2019, and a paper discussing their practice-based research methods has been published in Organised Sound.

Thembi is non-binary, using they/them/theirs pronouns, of European (Polish-Australian and Anglo-Celtic) descent, and living in the rural Victoria town of Clunes, Australia on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. In 2020 they received a Regional Arts Victoria Fellowship to research access, sustaining arts practice, and present their work with sound and mental health to their local community. Interviews conducted for this research and more can be found on this website. Their work has also been shown at galleries such as Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

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