Above, digital image of sketch proposal for ‘Supernova of the Mind’ 2016
This new work titled ‘Supernova of the Mind’ to be completed by 1st July 2016 as part of the close to my current artist residency programme, is a 2.2 x 2 x 2 metre steel mesh cage with a door for an entrance, and includes 8 low voltage LED light strips installed at the base of the cage’s interior and the ceiling of the cage’s interior. It will be lined up with garments personally collected, and clothes from people in the local community- from baby wear, maternity wear, men’s and women’s clothes. These clothes that will cover the entire inside of the cage- walls, floor and ceiling, will be pinned onto the mesh cage itself using 2600 glow in the dark pins from Brooklyn. The tiny glow balls at the tail of the pins will be charged up when the cage is lit up from the LED low voltage light strips. The light itself, will be remote controlled powered by the viewer(s) that walk inside it to experience it.
Personally, this work is supremely significant to me because, it culminates a turning point where I have been a stay at home mum and working from home for the last seven years. This work is ‘given birth to’ at such a time, and it is in essence retrospective of the last seven years in motherhood because my youngest child dawns on going to full time reception school later this year. The work is referring to a ‘mind’ because in some circumstances, the way we think, the places we go, our memories, experiences and the everyday can somewhat be a playful cage. Many recent regular activities have taught me that it is how we can choose to look at a situation that makes up whether we are going to be a victim of our environment or circumstances, or whether we can gain control and make our own choices, ultimately becoming more free in mind, thought, attitudes, inclinations, motivations and intentions.
This work has multi layers of meaning. One obvious one for me personally is this connection to human life when a baby is carried in a mother’s womb for nine months. Another notion this work can lean towards is to do with death – the question of how a person is buried into a space or what can remain after someone has passed away? Another much larger line of enquiry is to do with what happens beyond this life?… On a socio and political level, the outrage of recent junior doctors going on strikes, the protests towards the SATs exams being too advanced for the year 2’s and 6’s and the cry against refugees and the tactics in order to help them which are being turned a blind eye on are all enciting our society to want to reach out and take small or large steps of action, from my point of view, despite whether any changes are being made from the authorities of power.
‘Supernova of the Mind’ seen at first as a cage, is interesting, the cage itself is a type of large commodity purchased from industrial material manufacturers – which typifies capitalism, consumption and consumerism. The pins purchased from Brooklyn, United States underpins the idea of the western world trying to pin everything together, but nothing is ever permanent. And yet ironically, the remote switch, being in the hands of the viewer is a statement on which the power belongs to or should be returned to the individual. In order to control the power which in this case is being generated by the outside environment of the cage, the viewer must turn the or dim the lights on or off.
On a global and environmental level this artwork act is a simple reminder to of reserving energy in our current climate of depleting natural resources and creating a much larger awareness to the much larger forces beyond our own world which most of the time we may or not be conscious of and that is on the subject of supernovas, ‘a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass’.
Post exhibition, I hope to tour this art piece in sites such as local and national galleries along with some form of literature to inform the audience of the context of which the work was made. I’d also like to site the installation in different institutions, that have some significance or personal experience to me. I also hope to host workshops through ‘Foundation Art Birmingham’, (my recently funded art venture supported by Arts Connect West Midlands) that encourages the public, especially families with young children and the youth, to follow the trails of concepts in this particular art project, devising a programme that would underpin the intentions and objectives ‘Supernova of the Mind’ seeks to attain.