The Sensory Project Site, 2014 – 2016. Reinforcement steel wire, construction pine, bird netting, sand, paperbark, external cladding pine needles. H. 350 cm W. 300 cm D.600 cm.
During my Master of Art by research degree, I built a Sensory Project Site to test my projects at Federation University, Gippsland campus. Together both the qualities of the site (pine plantation) itself and the physical materials informed my projects.
In my project titled ‘Site, Substance and Sensation,’ I investigated how we find meaning in contemporary art by other senses than visual. Through such deliberations I analyse how this might manifest through art in ways that are not yet immediately apparent between visible and invisible, conscious and unconscious.
Formal abstraction is very important to this suite of projects, as I do not want the visitor’s encounter with the works to be linear or explicit – I wish for the visitor to have an immediate and direct encounter or gestalt with the materials and the site. To realise the work of art itself, the visitors’ perception needs to engage by physical responses through sensory experiences.
Through a discourse based on theories of phenomenology and its studies in the meaning of experiences, I am attempting to create conditions in which the visitor can develop a heightened awareness of their conscious or unconscious associations with sensory experience. Through setting up this quiet, contemplative environment, visitors can draw his or her own, unique meaning from the work.