Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What's In Your Headset ?

We live in an ever more incredible world where the possibilities of disappearing into virtual worlds, becoming "other" people and living in imaginary landscapes are closer to hand than ever before. When an audience was exposed to the first film, depicting a train rushing towards the camera, it's reported that they ran from the cinema, terrified they were going to be hit. The developments in online gaming and the advances in CGI mean that almost anything we can dream up can become "real", and today the spectacle of people wearing total virtual reality suits is a reality.

Against this backdrop, and inspired by these ideas, I have been working on a project with students from Gloucester House Day Unit, exploring memory and imagination and experimenting with creating an analogue equivalent of the virtual reality headset.  Students made their own ‘headsets’ containing tiny worlds or scenes from inside their heads. 

Using a variety of materials including recycled cardboard boxes, tubes and welding masks they created characters, planets, under the sea worlds, spiders, cinemas, imaginary landscapes, houses and insects.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Kintsugi Biscuits

Photographer Andy Wiener and I photographed the playfully 'mended' biscuits made by children and young people using the services at the Tavi. They were inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi and the art of Kintsugi, where a broken bowl is mended and the crack filled with gold as a celebration and mark of resilience.

Wabi Sabi is about accepting imperfection and the idea that nothing lasts for ever and the inevitability of knocks and bumps along the way become part of an object’s rich history. The biscuits are more beautiful for their ‘mends’ and in fact become something else. This philosophy can be applied to the natural world, where things are in a state of constant change; decay, growth and rebirth, but could also be a useful way to think about ourselves and the relationships we form with people as well as the objects around us.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Library Notes

During my residency at the Tavistock and Portman I've made a few collections of objects and photographs, one of which being these notes and bookmarks found in books in the library (with the help of a willing librarian I might add!) I find them interesting; random evidence of the people who leafed through and pored over the words and pages.