art reflection video

Unbound – some thoughts, notes and reflections

This exhibition? A loosening…

Being in a garden that is not a highly controlled space, but rough, jumbly.

Seeing what would come without seeking control, without over working.

The joy of being in there with these people, the privilege of friendship, of sharing time together.

And I was beguiled, caught up in curiosity to come close to the beings of the garden: plants, seeds, flowers, pollinators, sun, wind. The crows and their incessant fussing in the ash tree, reminding me of people.

A getting-to-know. which has not yielded a totality, rather a collection of fragments.

In deciding how to make work, what actions to take, I went with the feeling. I used camera, video, sketching, collecting, writing; and I came back into my studio to let it steep.

I made works through a process of piecing together. My compositions on canvas are pieced loosely: tacked and pinned, as if making a piece of clothing or a quilt.

And there are pieces assembled on metal with magnets, which will return to fragments later when I disassemble them.

I over-printed many of my drawings with woodcut prints of ash-leaf designs, carved into off-cuts of MDF. The tree so influences the life of the garden. It is not inside the garden, but the plants and the birds and the insects don’t know boundaries.

I have said that this was ‘slow time’ in the garden. Now I feel less sure of my words. It is more like falling through time. Losing the sense of time passing.

I believe this is what people have called the ‘flow’ state. It is accessing a way of being that is open, curious, joyful, a place where we can be challenged but not frustrated. Close to play. And time loses its directionality in there.

That is why its interesting too that Suzie compared the experience to that of a child, going to a house with their parents, being told to ‘go and explore the garden’. Side-stepping the adult world and going to a ‘place’ where time passes differently.

I remembered what it was like when as a child I was told to go off and play in the garden of an unfamiliar house.

I am inviting the viewer to explore the hidden green spaces of an unfamiliar garden, as though with the eyes of a child – from the ground up.

Suzie Ross

Our unconscious minds do not inhabit the linear, historical and autobiographical time of other parts of the mind and thought. (I am sure that there is science around this, I will do research, report back.)

Nor do other beings, or that is what we would guess. What is history to a mouse, a bee, a plant, a river? It doesn’t have meaning from that point of view : although we with our colonising and exploitative ways of course can break into timelessness, destroy parts of the fabric of unhistorical being.

If we go out to meet a bee in the ivy-flowers, stay there with it, can we fall out of the day of the week, the digital date and time on our devices? Can we fall into the world of sensation and inter-connection?

Making video of these moments is a strange and precarious place to perch. Perhaps more so than photography, which seeks to stop the flow, hold on to a moment. Making video, you sit in both kinds of time. You are looking at the camera (probably), rather than at the ivy flower, the bee. You are using this digital medium, a time-based matrix, digitally fragmented into fractions-of-a-second, pixels on a screen, and you are reaching through it for an experience that is not time-bound, but experiential, sensate. It is strange, promising, unrealisable.

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