‘Site, Substance and Sensation’

In ‘Site, Substance and Sensation,’ the idea that experiencing the world is a straightforward uncomplicated matter is challenged in a contemporary postmodern context. The empirical notion that reality can be experienced firsthand has been mostly abandoned in favour of the view that reality is constructed through language and culture. Indeed, most views of the world carry a bias, whether conscious or unconscious, which affects all that is encountered. It is not possible to separate the observable world from the person observing it nor to report on the world without already having a position on how it functions. As such ‘meaning’, in this body of research, is found in the awareness that the past informs and shapes the experience of the present moment. This is activated through a heightened sensory awareness of various stimuli, set up through the artworks, which draw distant, past associations into the present consciousness.

As we move through the physical spaces of our daily lives, it is our body that is the tactile instrument that we use to measure our surroundings. To carry out this measuring, our body, through our senses, collects a myriad of stimuli from the places we inhabit. The stimuli are then processed by our brain to make sense of what we are experiencing.

Considerations for my projects evolve during regular daily walks. My bush treks offer a time when I can mediate between my own body and the natural environment. Simply by walking, the physical encounter transports me into an experience which links me directly with my surrounding environment. Since I predominantly select my materials from natural environments these walks are central to my process and practice.

My overarching objective with my projects has been to open the door to the idea of using installation art as a critical sensory practice. As an aid in breaking our dependence on ocular dominance and to investigate a range of other means to draw meaning from art. This activation of our perception critiques the passivity of mass-media consumption and offers a means to bring about a critical vigilance towards the environments in which we find ourselves.