Beyond The Depths

Beyond the Depths, 2019. A piece on materiality

‘Beyond the Depths’ is a piece exploring material recreation of natural entities that then reveal various levels of disconnect the further you attempt to mimic. It started with the recreation of awe in wide open spaces and trying to harness that space and reform it where there was no depth. In doing so the artist has the power to distort viewers perception and within that, sensory vulnerability they are more open to be in awe. The dual-sided screen lent use to creating depth, however the final external light levels hindered the final intended effect. Concurrently, I was researching pluralism within ecology and the value we place on humanity in contrast with other non-human life forms. Jane Bennett’s theory of ‘thing-power considered the vitality of objects within an assemblage, how each has a part to play which contributes a proportional effect. The piece invites the viewer to play a part in the construction, by affecting the light levels that then affect both the movement of the physical flower structure as well as the projected illustration. By placing the flower on the floor, the viewer also has to bend down, physically alluding to a more equal plane. Flowers are a symbol of transcendence, drawing from Aldous Huxley’s Heaven and Hell where he writes of flowers and gemstones covering the entrances to gates to heaven. Transcendence in most cultures is a solely human experience, our minds elevate leaving our earthly, dirty, decaying bodies among all the other life forms on earth. This thought process denies other life forms their vitality. By using an acrylic flower form that moves in a life-like manner portrays a sense of vitality within a classic in-animate object, this in turn offers a moment of reflection for the viewer, interacting and responding to a non-human form.

Further background research and inspiration included Marcel Duchamp’s Étant donnés, Tobias Bradford’s animatronic pieces and James Turrell’s Shallow Space Constructions and his Ganzfeld series