I feel that I have grounded myself in my research. My work started as a scientific investigation of light and sight but has moved more towards cognition and perception. I find myself drawn towards phenomena such as mediation and hallucinations, such as those brought on by Charles Bonnet syndrome. I am experimenting with installation to bring an immersive quality to the work. Video work and photography are the predominant tools that I seem to be using at the moment. I am happy with the direction that my investigations are bringing me. I would like to get in touch with sketching more during the summer, as I feel my back-up work is mainly photography and video at the moment and while there is nothing wrong with this, I feel that the direct and immersive nature of drawing will bring another element to the work.
I have meetings lined up with neuroscientists as part of Placing Practice and I have emailed Dzochgen Beara, a Buddhist Retreat Centre in West Cork. I am excited about the outcomes of these meetings and what layers they could add to my work.
I am looking forward to the summer semester and the paring back of my part-time jobs which should give me more time to dedicate to my studio work. I feel that the act of writing the thesis will also help me formulate my thoughts in relation to my studio work.
Here’s to semester 2!
Placing Practice and Studio Research
Meeting with John Justice, staff researcher in photonic sources with Tyndall National Institute – 10/04/16
John called up to my studio and I gave him a brief over view of my work, before concentrating our conversation on the preliminary experimental work that I have conducted with lasers. We then went on to have a discussion around light, both from a scientific point of view and from a creative standpoint. Below are bullet points from this informal meeting. John is willing to be part of a more formal exchange in the future, as well as continual informal exchange of ideas and information.
- Look into fluorescent paper with lasers. The laser gives a brief ‘echo’ on the florescent paper. This could then be videoed or be part of a performative piece. THINGS TO BE MINDFUL OF: Check the wavelength of the laser I am using. Certain wavelengths will not work on the paper/phosphorescent surfaces. BE AWARE THAT CERTAIN LASERS, ESPECIALLY GREEN, CAN BE DAMAGING TO PEOPLE’S EYES.
- Research Ultraviolet excitation using black light. – for installation work
- Look into glow in the dark pens and paper – again for installation work/interactive light based display work
- John knows a woman who works with crystal healing and transference healing. I need to follow up on this in a few weeks when she is back from holidays. Her name is Sinead O’Sullivan
- There is a scientific based light therapy called photodynamic therapy. This involves using directed laser lights in conjunction with chemicals to give localised treatment to cancer patients.
- There is on-going scientific research into the healing properties of light. This is done by making the cells more energised by flooded it with light of certain wavelengths, usually near infra-red, and thus increasing the healing process
- NASA has been involved in photodynamic therapy studies
- We talked about the feasibility of collaborating on a project involving holograms. John is interested but this needs more research and it might be the summer before all parties are available to work on this project. I need to research the process involved with the photosensitive paper and what are the requirements of development. For example, can I use black and white?
- John was interested in the sculptural aspect of my work and had some interesting ideas of how to translate the machete idea into a instillation/sculpture. I need to sketch up a few of these ideas and suggestions
- John has expressed an interest in calling up to the studio some evening after dark and when there are no other students around so that we can play with laser effects through lenses etc
- John is going to try to borrow a pair of protective eyeglasses for my laser work.
- There is a possibility that John will be able to cut a miniature led 2D shape that I could then use for LED experimentation. He is getting back to me on this. I will draw up the shape required
Experiments with photographing through lenses
Photographing in the Photography Studio with controlled light
Capturing Natural light
A whirl wind of activity and an emotional roller coaster – is the best way to describe my first 6 weeks on the MA:AP. I have been stretched and challenged in ways that I was not expecting and finally am re-engaging that part of the brain that has laid dormant for so long! I feel like I am playing catch up with a lot of the contemporary art scene and am doing my best to sift through it all in a way that best informs my practice and line of inquiry.
The best analogy that I can give is that it is like when you pack for a journey – you ram everything that you can into your suitcase, then you wait a day and go through it all again to make a selection that actually suits your destination….. that is what it is like for me at the moment – I am ramming my ‘suitcase’ full of all the ‘just in case I need them items’ but must begin the selection process before I get weighed down by it all!
I am exhausted and thoroughly enjoying every minute!!! I can see the change in the way in which I approach my work. I am beginning to ‘think bigger’ and more adventurously. I still have my little panic attacks and moments of doubt, but from this maelstrom a definite line of inquiry is beginning to emerge …. I think!!!
The first three weeks have been a roller coaster of exposure to new artists and ways of thinking and working. I am reeling a bit from it all and feel I need time to process all this new information and figure out where my practice sits in all of it, and who am I as an artist. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been laid low with a flu since I started.
Some points that have come up is to deconstruct my actual objects and look at the optics as objects in themselves, as well as ‘vehicles’ to perception.
This along with the suggestion of looking at ‘old science’, such as Newton’s exploration of light and vision, excites me. I like that cross over between science and the sense of wonder/mysticism.
I am still a little stuck as to what I am actually looking ‘at’ through the optics – what are my visuals – Is it necessary to have visuals.
Another thing that I am concerned with is that at present my work and explorations are all at an intellectual level and have no emotional draw (excuse the pun!) as yet. This concerns me because I want my work to resonate with an audience and myself at a ‘real’ level. I want my work to ‘mean’ something and have depth and social commentary.
Today’s Art in Placement session has given me an awful lot to ponder about my work and where I go from here with it. There is some amazing explorations going on and I feel that I haven’t grounded myself yet in what it is I want to say or what I want to explore. I feel a little discombobulated, to be honest and need to do a bit of soul searching about myself and my art.