Immersive and tactile

In my previous post about installation ideas, I noted that perhaps my plans to place cyanotype covered deckchairs in front of my other Harena Now work may seem a little gimmicky.

I don’t want it to be seen as just a quirky means of displaying my work. But in my latest chat with this module’s leader, Wendy McMurdo, she spoke about photo-artists who are combining fabric and sculpture into their work, and advised me to take a look at Eva Stenram (she’s even written an article about her work).

As soon as I clicked on the article and then Stenram’s website, my ideas for combining my images on print and material were reflected back at me in her projects Vanishing Point, Split and Daydreams are nicer than TV.

The content and context of these installations are different to Harena Now but it does help reinforce my self-belief and help me grow in confidence in how, and why, I want to display my work this way. Combining the pictorial and tactile, the inaccessible image with an accessible artefact are all means for me to encourage the viewer to become more absorbed in what they are seeing.

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© Eva Stenram. 2016. Split.

Wendy, in her Open College of Arts blog about the Offcut show at the Ravestijn Gallery in Amsterdam, in which Stenram shared her work Vanishing Point and Split, she writes that the chair in Spilt is set as an invitation, a means of seeing the image as the person who took the photo must have seen it (McMurdo, 2016).

On Stenram’s website in the copy relating to Split, it ends with the following paragraph:

The picture splits and if we sit down, the picture touches the body of the viewer. As it engulfs and envelops us, we are drawn both into the picture and outside of the picture. The boundaries become porous and unsteady. Split deepens the viewer’s haptic relationship to the photograph.

It is that sense of being engulfed and creating a deepening in the haptic sensations that I want my work to create for the viewer.

Having spoken with a number of people about what sand means to them, to most it conjures up happy memories. By placing deckchairs, covered with cyanotype fabric images made with sand and seawater, into sand and inviting people to sit and wiggle their toes to stimulate the recollection of good times while viewing the lumen images that move from a more alien environment to images akin to our universe, I aim to create a jolt when more is learnt about the meaning behind the work.

I want to push the boundaries of how something as ubiquitous as sand, something that all people can relate to, can be re-seen in a new context from that of happy, holiday memories.

References

McMURDO, Wendy. 2016. ‘Offcut’. #weareoca. Available at: https://weareoca.com/subject/photography/offcut/ [accessed April 13, 2018]

STENRAM, Eva. Available at: http://www.evastenram.co.uk/index.htm [accessed April 13, 2018]