2 videotapes, audio, 2 electric fans, 2 silk screens, 1 light projection
In recent work I have been exploring images of consciousness through organs of the human body associated with emotion, thought and breath. The media I work with in installations are usually some form of light which I find a pleasing means for representation of the immaterial. In Bloodbird, I have connected the image of birds with human veins, carriers of our life-blood.
Birds are a cross-cultural symbol of the spirit. This is my primary interest in using the image of birds. However, in developing this work I have been introduced to the rich field of animal symbolism and find it resonant with my primary artistic theme: transcendence, synthesis of culturally diverse modes of thought and “the passage from nature to culture”.
Previous work used images of the heart, lungs and brain. In Bloodbird, I have turned to our veins. Our blood speaks to me of our physicality, mortality, the precariousness and impermanence of our bodies more than any other body part. The vulnerability of the body and the durability of the spirit invert the assumptions we so easily make about the material and spiritual.
The components of Bloodbird are two video projections and one light projection. (This is the term I use for the line drawings of light I create using theatrical lighting instrument and pattern plate.) The image of the Bloodbird evokes for me the simultaneity of material and immaterial, physical and spiritual and the absnce of duality that I seek to represent in my work as a concept of the human condition other to the dominant cultural concept produced by materialist paradigms.
Exhibited at Niagara Artists Company, St. Catharines ON, November 7 – December 15, 1998
With thanks to Karyn McCallum at the Shaw Festival scene shop and Chris Clifford
Photos: Dwayne Koon, courtesy of NAC