Sounds of Silence

This is an original and unique work of art by one of the world’s most creative Letterwork Sculptors and will look magnificent both inside and out.  Carving an extract from the sheet music for John Cage’s “4 minutes 33 seconds”, where the audience listens attentively to the world around them, and above all to silence. His works draw upon the outside world, atmosphere, foreign sounds, and unpredictability.

The text around the edge reads: “A strange art – music – the most poetic and precise of all the arts, vague as a dream and precise as algebra” (a quote from Guy de Maupassant)

The distinctive green colour of this slate was created from the metamorphosed volcanic ash of the Borrowdale Volcanic group of mountains found in the heart of the English Lake District. The chloride in the deposits gives this slate its beautiful colour.

To see a video of this piece, click here


Additional information


Green Slate



Original / Edition

Original work of art


40 x 40 x 1.5 cm


Annet Stirling is a sculptor, specialising in letters, words and text.  Since the late 1980’s, she has undertaken many public and private commissions in the United Kingdom and Europe, working extensively with Ian Hamilton Finlay and exploring the boundaries of legibility and abstraction in letterform.  Her work can be seen around London in Westminster Abbey, St Martins in the Fields, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Opera House, National Gallery, House of Commons. Like most letter-cutters, Annet was trained in the drawing of specific classical Roman alphabets for carving, yet her work has moved in new and more modern directions, influenced by the physical aspects of mark making using tools on raw stone. More recently the use of laser-cut Corten steel has been explored to produce editioned works.

Annet trained as a graphic designer in the Netherlands before studying lettering at the City and Guilds of London Art School with Berthold Wolpe, and then finishing her education as an apprentice with Richard Kindersley.  In 1988 she formed Incisive Letterwork with Brenda Berman, focusing on large-scale architectural inscriptions and ‘word sculpture’.  She travelled throughout Italy on a Churchill Fellowship studying Roman and Renaissance inscriptions.  She also has a particular love of a quarry in Dorset where she has spent a considerable amount of time over the years.

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