Loud cafes, deafening restaurants and harsh sounding bars could soon become an issue of the past. Black Canvas Acoustic Design & Art Gallery plans on creating noise absorbing acoustic panels out of stretched canvas frames for local emerging artists to produce work on.

Initially being trialled in South East Queensland, the project is a joint collaboration between Brisbane based project manager and audio engineer Daniel Pye and arts-worker and curator Talulah Jung.

The project aims to give artists a sustainable and practical application for their work, in addition to solving the age old issues of noisy public venues.

The canvas frames are made from unprimed Caravaggio canvas and Australian timber frames. Materials used to produce the artwork will include graphite, inks, water soluble paints and dyes to prevent the pores of the canvas from clogging, allowing sound to pass through the canvas to the Basotect acoustic materials within the timber frame.

Canvas Frame with Basotect Prototype.

Canvas frame with Basotect prototype.

Basotect is a melamine resin foam that is fire retardant, chemical and microbe resistant, temperature stable and non-toxic, ideal for use most industrial acoustic applications. In the medium and high frequency ranges, Basotect exhibits outstanding sound absorption behaviour. At low frequencies, technical acoustic improvements can be achieved by means of additional heavy layers.

Acoustic Foam will provide the acoustic absorption needed for mid to high frequency control

Acoustic foam will provide the acoustic absorption needed for mid to high frequency control

From an environmental perspective, waste from Basotect can be recycled for purposes of heat and material recovery

“We are looking to solve three critical issues with one simple solution,” explained Pye. “Firstly, the lack of artist career sustainability within the industry. Emerging artists are paid dismally for their work despite how much time, money and effort they put into these amazing pieces of art. There needs to be more consistent paid work for emerging artists for them to be able to develop both their art and business skills to ensure they can create a career for themselves.”

“Secondly, noise issues within public cultural spaces like cafes, bars and restaurants, don’t seem to be taken seriously by venue owners. People who go to these places go to connect with other people, but they can’t because it is so incredibly loud.

“Lastly, due to the fact that it is so loud in some of these spaces, it is causing people permanent hearing damage, not only customers but employees. We plan on eliminating all three at once.”