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Installation: First Thought Best Thought, 2020

Readymade, found objects, 2020

First Thought, Best Thought is a readymade installation created using found objects relating to the home. The work acts as a metaphor for the meditative state and the clarity of perception this state of mind offers. When we relax into a mindful state, this creates a psychological stillness which permits mental spaciousness for ideas to bubble up from the subconscious mind. Buddhist master and Shambala Art founder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche described such creative vision as “first thought, best thought”.

Chogyam Trungpa used the phrase “first thought, best thought” to refer to that first moment of fresh perception, before the clouds of judgment and personal interpretation take over. “First thought” is “best thought” because it has not yet been covered over by our opinions and interpretations, our hopes and fears, our likes and dislikes. It is the direct perception of the world as it is. Sometimes we discover “first thought, best thought” by relaxing into the present moment.

I selected each object for the installation First Thought, Best Thought for its symbolism and phenomenological qualities. The pulsing light bulb represents thoughts popping in and out of existence. The colour purple references the upper chakras, associated with ideas, imagination, spirituality, and creativity. A magnifying lens floats in space, distorting the environment akin to our the way our emotions and preconceptions distort our perceptions. Gaston Bachelard described wardrobes as “veritable organs of the secret psychological life”. Similarly, the clothing rail in First Thought, Best Thought can be considered as an intimate space which holds the inner workings of the mind. However, understanding this layered symbolism is not something I ask of the viewer. Ultimately, my intention is to create a relaxed, mindful experience for the audience to submerge themselves in the art of awareness.

Bachelard describes the corner as a “chamber of being”, a haven to withdraw into ourselves and negate the universe. The corner is therefore the most appropriate space for a work which intends to immerse the viewer in conscious awareness.


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