Exhibition: "Impermanence", Brompton Cemetery Chapel, 2019

Updated: Oct 5

Group show with the Rookery Artists Collective at the Brompton Cemetery Chapel from 12-22nd September 2019. I explored theme of "impermanence" through the lens of Zen art and Buddhist philosophy. Photographic prints were exhibited alongside an audio-visual installation. As part of the events program a Mindfulness Instructor was invited to run a meditation on the art-of-seeing.


BRIEF:

  • A pop-up show at the Brompton Cemetery Chapel

  • Theme of "Impermanence"

  • Not permitted to hang works on the wall

  • Works needed to be easy to move and store in the event of a service


YEAR/DURATION

2019/ Four days


WORKS EXHIBITED:


‘Joining Heaven and Earth’ is the title of an essay documenting a seminar given by Shambala Art founder and Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1979. In this seminar, Trungpa Rinpoche used spontaneous calligraphies to demonstrate the threefold principle of “heaven, earth, and human”. This principle was used to describe the psychological manifestation of the creative process, the physical process of creation, and the viewing process.


The collection of works exhibitied embody Trungpa Rinpoche’s seminar both in method and visual references. Ink paintings were produced, photographed and meticulously selected using intuitive action and contemplative viewing. These photographs developed into the print series Joining Heaven and Earth and the video Shifting sands.


These works became the subject of a mindfulness session on ‘the art of viewing’ at Brompton Cemetery Chapel, London, in 2019. Mindfulness is a translation of the Sanskrit word ‘sati’, also translated as ‘bare attention’.


Viewers who give their ‘bare attention’ to a print from the Joining Heaven and Earth series are rewarded with mild visual hallucinations. In contrast, viewers of Shifting Sands explore the limits of their capacity for attention as dancing lights distract them from the underlying evolution of photographs of ink paintings.


The audio for Shifting Sands is a collaboration with music producer Simpl_Machine. Electronic music was selected and stretched with the aim of creating distortions in time perception and auditory hallucinations, both experiences associated with altered states.


Joining Heaven and Earth I-IV


Series of four digital prints on aluminum (dibond) - brushed metal finish, Printed: Gallery Grade, Straight Edges, Hidden Wall Mount, 30 x 20 x 0.4 in (WxHxD), Edition of 5 + AP


Shifting Sands

Video 1 hr, 18 m, 31 s, displayed in custom made valchromat display box. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUPuhc33fkY


REFLECTIONS:

  • Audience didn't notice or interact with video installation initially. Had to try multiple orientations in order to find position which encouraged the most interaction.

  • Sound from video installation sounded incredible given the acoustics of the chapel. Audio chosen fit well with the location and sounded spiritual at times.

  • Feedback on photographic prints was much stronger then previous shows. However, the mirror finish I was originally after wasn't high enough quality to exhibit in the end. Used brushed aluminum instead. So the reflection of the viewer in the work I wanted wasn't possible.

  • Both photographic prints and video installation appeared very small in the space, particularly given the high ceiling. Would ideally print photographs larger but need to be careful not to print the resolution too far.

  • Should have surveyed participants on their experience of "Shifting Sands".


Danielle Jacques, Visual Artist, London, UK

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